With only hours left to stave off a government shutdown, President Obama remained hopeful that a deal can be reached to fund the government.
“I am not at all resigned [to a government shutdown],” he told reporters today after an Oval Office meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Placing blame squarely on House Republicans, Obama said “the bottom line is that the Senate has passed a bill that keeps the government open, does not have a lot of extraneous issues to it, that allows us then to negotiate a longer-term budget and address a range of other issues but that ensure that we’re not shutting down the government and we’re not shutting down the economy at a time when a lot of families out there are just getting some traction in digging themselves out of the hole that we’ve had as a consequence of the financial crisis.
House Republicans have passed a bill to keep the government open, but only if the new provisions of the health care law are delayed by one year. They also want to repeal a tax the law imposes on some medical devices.
Obama and Senate Democrats say any funding bill that includes changes to Obamacare is dead on arrival. The Senate has passed its own measure to keep the government’s lights on and the health care law on track. The government will shut down at midnight without a budget deal.
The president said he would be speaking with congressional leaders today and planned to discuss the looming shutdown with his cabinet at the White House this afternoon.
Looking ahead to the Oct. 17 deadline to raise the debt ceiling, the president reiterated that he will not negotiate over the need to increase the nation’s borrowing ability.
“We can’t have any kind of meaningful negotiations under the cloud of potential default: the first in U.S. history. There’s not a world leader, if you took a poll, who would say that it would be responsible or consistent with America’s leadership in the world for us not to pay our bills,” he said.
“We are the foundation of the world economy and the world financial system. And our currency is the reserve currency of the world. We don’t mess with that. And we certainly don’t allow domestic policy differences on issues that are unrelated to the budget to endanger not only our economy but the world economy.”