Obama Administration, Top Democrats React to Shutdown

Government officials discuss the shutdown of services, legislative stalemate.
3:00 | 10/01/13

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Transcript for Obama Administration, Top Democrats React to Shutdown
This is a special room. I'm Dan -- New York this ABC news digital special reports at the White House this afternoon Press Secretary Jay Carney is about to. Hold a conference now with reporters. Let's listen in as the budget the government -- is now in its fourteenth hour shop. For. Affordable health and insurance that they could not. Obtain. Before now thanks the affordable -- and and also to hear what he had to say about. The fact that the Republicans in congress chose to shut down the government last night. For a take your questions I had a couple of announcements first the president earlier today received an update from. Alyssa master -- that deputy chief of staff. Sylvia Borough wells the director of the office of management and budget. And Jack -- that secretary of the treasury on. The shut down and with -- secretary -- obviously the fact as previously announced that. In just a few weeks the treasury runs out of the measures it can take to. -- continue to pay our bills and -- the prospect of default. Becomes more real if Republicans in the congress pursuing a strategy pursued when it comes to finding -- government decided to adopt that strategy. To threaten. Default for the first time in our country's history we certainly hope that is not the strategy they -- with that it will take your question. Yes that would definitely vote. President of courage. -- congress to. Combines -- CR and debt -- measure. Parallel tracks. Movie. Now and negotiate some aspect of on -- CR. You Republicans. Republicans have twisted themselves and it. Pretzels. In in this effort to try to attach partisan demands to -- simple responsibility to fund the government keep -- open. And their simple responsibility. To make sure that the United States does not the -- That the United States pays its bills the president has been abundantly clear that he will not negotiate. Over congress' responsibility to pay its bills. He has been clear all -- -- that he is willing to negotiate. With. Serious minded Republicans in congress about. Our budget priorities and how we should fund them and what. What ways we should invest in our middle class and in our economy and and how we can continue to reduce the deficit. Continued. The progress we've made reducing the deficit but he won't do that under threat of shut down any won't do that under threat. Of default. This is irresponsible reckless behavior. Has the president just said congress ought to. Open the government. Return people to work. And without drama and delay to fill its responsibility. To make sure the -- the United States pays its bills we've never defaulted in our history and the mere threat of default as we saw in 2011. I had terrible. Impacts on our economy and on our middle class. People didn't get jobs because of the threat. Of the fall that was. Put forth by Republicans in 2011. The economy slowed down markets went down. -- this was the low point of our recovery from the worst recession since the great depression and that only happen with the threat of default. And unfortunately now you see Republicans. Embracing a strategy where they say. I couldn't get we couldn't get what we wanted. Through the congressional -- process of the Affordable Care Act passed the house passed the senate signed into law was upheld by the Supreme Court was validated in -- national action. So we we couldn't get it that way. So we're gonna attach it to our responsibility to make sure the United States pays its bills its its wildly irresponsible. And it's dangerous -- Is it -- This point where. -- -- -- ultimately mean Republicans going through right now -- -- -- -- -- It appears that the president is offering Republicans. He's offering them no conditions attached to. Reopening the government. No conditions attached to raising the -- -- If you -- to -- the Republican game he might say you know what I won't sign -- that funds the government and -- You pass legislation that 90% of the American people support which is to. Expand background checks on gun purchases but he won't do. He believes that kind of thing should be done through the legislative process the -- And he continues to press for congress to pass an expansionist. Background checks but he would not do that he would not attach. A and related priority to this and threatened shutdown threatened to fall. Congress has a responsibility to keep the government open congress has a responsibility. To pay the United States bills that's in trying to launch and enshrined in the constitution. The president is. Not making any demands associated with -- only the Republicans are. And what they're trying to do as the president said today is. Deprive those folks that the president had with him today and millions more like them. Of the opportunity to get affordable health insurance for the first time in their lives -- for the first time in a long time. Or else. They'll continue to have the government shut down and maybe they'll default. And that's. Irresponsible. Mark -- -- Let me get this as an announcement I -- which is on Thursday. The president will visit. And Luis construction in local construction company to discuss the need. For congress to act to pass a budget and pay the bills. It has racked up and -- construction is a local small business that has grown in recent years thanks to increased access to capital. -- president Obama's efforts to help small businesses. The president will highlight the impact that shutdown and default would have on our economy and our nation's small businesses. If congress fails to pay its bills in the fall for the first time in our nation's history. It would significantly hurt the economy meaning fewer customers for small businesses. Likely -- higher borrowing costs for everyone making it harder for businesses like these -- get along the president will urge congress to do its job. And do the things rather the kinds of things that invests in our small businesses increased jobs and grow the economy instead of setting it back. So that visit. We'll obviously be. An opportunity for the president speak about the issues that we're discussing today. -- -- yes. -- That house Republicans. Have the opportunity to reopen the government five minutes from now they want to take that action we hope they do. And -- Begins the district formerly of local. From our president -- Top Wall Street CEOs and in the context of the -- and people. What is what is does the president want. See you. There's a White House the president believes that these two. -- Well you're correct that he will meet with members of the financial services -- here at the White House tomorrow. While they are in town for their annual meeting in. The meeting will be on a broader array of economic issues but. Among them will be the disastrous impact of congress' failure to raise the debt ceiling. Without drama or delay would have on their businesses and on the nation's and world's economy. I think for these business leaders. Know very well. What the consequences -- of the -- flirtation with default -- Republicans engaged in 2011. That was a setback to our recovery it was a setback to. All kinds of businesses and it was a setback -- middle class families. You know doing it over again and and and go even further and actually defaulting if that's what Republicans decide. To do would have even more catastrophic consequences and I'm sure that would be of great concern to them. Business leaders around the country as it is and would be to. Average folks around the country who would see. Interest rates rise dramatically -- -- Credit dry out potentially for. -- small businesses and you know the in many ways -- the consequences of default or unknowable. -- with any specificity because we have to -- -- before. You know -- they would be catastrophic for the economy and it would telecasts and head into question. The bedrock. Foundation of the global economic system which is the United States economy in the United States currency and the faith -- credit of this nation. But news. I think lawmakers of both parties. Understand it. At least. Should understand. When business leaders like these say that. Default would be terrible for business would be terrible for the economy would be terrible for the American people they know what they're talking about. And we certainly hope that. Members of congress especially Republicans would. Heed that warning. We have no changes. To announce -- -- get. Jeff today there's a proposal being floated right now -- -- series as well funding bills. That would -- certain agencies -- programs president. You know. It daily now hourly were asked to respond to floated proposals some of which never come to fruition because. Opposition either within the Republican Party or. Rejection by. The senate so I'm not gonna do that what I can say is the even that proposal shows the utter lack of seriousness they -- seeing from Republicans. If they -- to open the government they should -- the government and then we can negotiate about how we fund our budget priorities in the future. Piecemeal approach to. Funding the government is -- a serious approach. It any more than it would be a serious way to try to deal with the consequences. The -- and the absolute necessity. To maintain the full faith and credit of the United States many the end wanted to Republican lawmakers because they're responding to one faction. Of one party of one house of one branch of government and being driven by them. -- twisting themselves into pretzels. Contortions now in terms of all the ways the different ways they have. Tried to avoid their fundamental responsibility which is. To keep the government functioning. And to negotiate. In a serious -- remember the president put forward -- compromise budget. Early this year. -- had many discussions with Republican lawmakers about. The need to find common ground and urge them to make similar approach proposals that -- that replicated his. Demonstrated willingness to. Make tough choices and we had not we have not seen -- year but hopefully we will. You president says to me. The Affordable Care Act. Is that something that could be part of its -- to break through the -- that White House offering that we're not negotiating. -- -- -- -- -- -- The president made clear in his interview with -- and -- -- He's willing to have a conversation with anyone who's serious about. Measures that might strengthen or improve the Affordable Care Act make it better make it more efficient. -- cheating -- -- which is providing. Insurance coverage affordable insurance coverage to millions of Americans who don't have it. And but -- not negotiate under threat of shutdown are under shut down. In order for the Republicans to achieve. You know their partisan. Agenda goals here. Look -- we get it they don't like the affordable care they don't like Obama care. They have tried again and again and again to repeal it defund. Delay it -- -- And they are obviously entitled to and welcome to continue to try to do that through the normal legislative means. But what they should not because it's irresponsible. He shut down the government over that. Partisan pursuit. Nor -- they have allow the United States to default. In order to. Achieve what they could not achieve through normal means. And you know and and the consequences I think really that. I'm one theory that seems reasonable means to me about why there is such an obsession now among Republicans. With pursuing these. This avenue. Despite that cries of protest from members of their own party in the senate and also in the house -- that outside. About what a terrible thing is to do to the economy and to -- to the party. Is because they know that beginning today. Yes the fundamental portion of the Affordable Care Act becomes real and instead it just being. President Obama's signature. Piece of legislation that they oppose and want to. Get rid of it is the program that is providing and will provide benefits to millions of Americans and I'll tell you if you're. A mom or dad. With. Modest income and a couple of kids and your self employed. And have many able to get affordable insurance and you're worried to death about your kids' asthma condition. Or. You know you you your -- fear -- getting breast cancer or. -- some other maybe your -- preexisting condition. You may have voted. Republican you may have voted against President Obama you made some -- the idea of repealing obamacare but when you go on. Website available in your state and look at. The options. You have now to provide insurance for your family for the first time. And you see that they're affordable and you see that if you don't make a lot of money either subsidies to make it affordable. You know do the right thing by -- family. You can add that -- -- you get -- you're gonna want that security for your family and I think Republicans are worried that. You beginning today. It's not about opposing. President Obama when it comes to this fight over the Affordable Care Act is about opposing the millions of Americans who -- benefiting from it. The White House where -- -- left off. We are obviously concerned about the impacts. The shut down the hundreds of thousands. Hard working Americans -- Couldn't show up the work today and aren't being paid and that. Hundreds of thousands more who aren't being paid even though they're working. And and the effect that has our economy. And our middle class so we hope that the. House Republicans. Listen to that. Suggestions members of their own party. As well -- The president and others and and and simply. Open the government. Pay the bills of the United States. Do the responsible thing and then continue to engage in serious debate and discussion about how we move forward as a nation with our economic priorities. The elections. -- Conservatives. Read at least. In Washington repeat. Shutdown of government are absolutely true test Karen noted that for -- Do you you have indicated certain brands. Are you concerned that doing -- sixty. As -- went there after -- stepped crisply and at this. It's like I don't want to read their minds what I think we're all concerned by. And anybody US concern about the American economy. Worries about is this. This same faction. One party in one house. Of one branch of government. That seems to be driving the train up there and House of Representatives and therefore. Preventing congress from doing this simple and right thing which is opening the government and raising -- him. Will employ the same tactic. When it comes to raising events that they've used so far with this simple proposition that the government should be funded and remain open. And in shut down has its negative consequences in the real and concrete for a lot of people and as the president said today. You know as time passes those consequences will grow. More severe. Default is exponentially worse. And it is irresponsible in the extreme to. Even suggest that if you don't get what you want you don't get your political scale. I think you're gonna allow that nation to default for the first time and and look that's it that's a genuine concern. And it and it's a concern because we've. We've been there before and we know that the only time in history that. Any party in congress has ever flirted with actual default was in 2011 and we saw what happened the United States was downgraded. For the first time. And job creation slowed economic growth slowed and what that meant of course was that fewer Americans got jobs. And fewer businesses open. Real consequences and that was just -- the flirtation. With the fall through. Are there any other. Powerful voices from the White House has to do list. -- ramp up the the pressure to bring home their message that he. You know I don't have any events or conversations or efforts to preview for you were very concerned about it. I'm sure that American business leaders are very concerned about it. I think a lot Republicans in congress and the senate and also in the house are concerned about it as -- proposition and as a strategy. And so I think hopefully. That combination of voices will. Succeeding and prevailing upon house Republicans and especially the leaders of the House Republican Conference it to do the right thing I mean -- I think it's been pointed out by Republican congressman. That there is a significant majority in the House of Representatives to pass -- -- CR today. All speaker Boehner has to do is put on the floor -- according to some. GOP. Members of the house he'd actually get a lot of Republicans to vote for. That's pretty good right I mean it's not -- -- tanner twelve or fifteen. According to again Republican predictions it would be significantly more than to do the right thing so we know is the government shut down. Even though a majority of the senate majority the house including -- significant bipartisan majority in house. Opposes that approach. So. It is there's a pretty easy option available to the speaker which is to reopen the government. And then there'll be a fairly simple and responsible option available congress including speaker and that is to raise the debt ceiling without drama or delay. Even the flirtation with default. Long as president willing to wait. For house Republicans to pass -- -- York. I'm not sure what that means because that that suggest the republic that the president could it take over the house. And -- -- himself and he can't he cannot order -- force you know. Call -- the National Guard to get the speaker of the house to put a clean CR on the floor. He's hoping. -- -- The speaker and the other leaders in the house will. Do the right thing sooner rather than later suggests no. Movement on his part. I don't -- to search his his position is that he is asking nothing from Republicans no concessions to doing their job which is funny. And that they should they should go about the business of doing that he won't interfere. And then they should go about the business. Responsibly without drama without the way. Raising the debt ceiling in making sure that we continue to pay -- bills as we have as a nation since. The birth of the nation and and and then we can proceed with. The very serious substantive. Negotiations about our budget priorities that the president has been trying to engage with Republicans on all year long. And yet around which the president has actually put on the table concrete proposals. Republicans were very insistent upon some of the things that. The president included in his budget proposals when he came to entitlement reforms that used to be what. Animated them and I now apparently it what really matters most of them is not deficit reduction are responsible. Getting control of our entitlement spending it's it's simply doing away with -- a law that provides affordable health insurance to -- them millions of Americans. -- not having been here at the time and having thought about a little bit of late. Yeah I remember in the in the in the disputes between the Republican congress and a democratic president in the mid 1990s that led to shut down. You can argue whether or not that was -- Smart political play or substantive play by Republicans then. But at least there was a coherence. It was around spending and deficits. The problem Republicans have I think now is that they're making this about whatever you know. Animates them politically and in most. Notably it's the Affordable Care Act the we saw earlier when they're attaching things more more conditions do you know what they would demand in return for. Doing their jobs and it was. Preventing women from. Getting contraceptive care and -- bosses that it was okay. You know other other types of items that. On their partisan wish -- and that's that's not a logical coherence to this and it and it's not. It is certainly not expressive. What had been the goals the Republican Party in the past McCain do at least the state Eagles -- -- they didn't actually practice which was -- Drive down deficits and debt and maybe that's because in part. Under this president that deficits have dropped 50%. And he's put on the table the only serious compromise proposal that would reduce them further and -- -- address -- mid term. Medium term debt. Challenges in the Rose Garden -- used brand Republicans shut down a couple of times isn't fair use that label when he hasn't even. Really been in contact with Republicans were over -- -- -- -- let's -- -- the speaker yesterday that was it for only for about a week I -- It doesn't he have to take some ownership of the shutdown when you don't talk -- the other side of the. President has had multiple intense conversations with the Republican lawmakers about our budget priorities all year long he has spent this -- -- -- question yesterday. Hour upon hour with speaker -- Over the years since John Boehner became speaker to discuss art and try to negotiate. Compromise on our budget priorities and again he spoke with him last night. But what he can't do is force the house to do the simple thing which is keep the government and that is what the house to vote on the senate. And he will sign it when they do. But. Again -- his position is. I'm -- I'm making no demands. I'm attaching no. Wish list items to Europe to clean legislation that would simply keep the government. And he's suggesting that the responsible thing to do on the other side. Is to take the same approach. Clean CR. And bill to raise the debt ceiling without drama going -- last night and so I'm not negotiating. I will not negotiate even though we heard from January February and what he said. But the president will not negotiate negotiate over -- Congress' responsibility to raise that's -- six -- the speaker okay let's work this out and I pledge to you after we get through this. -- would reverse -- -- talked about by president did say that he has said that he is willing and eager his -- He said it on NPR I don't I don't have the transcript of that -- this phone conversation with speaker Vanderbilt speaker Boehner is that. Speaker Boehner -- the president now with Republican lawmakers repeatedly earlier this year as did senior members of his. Staff to talk about how we can move forward on -- budget priorities -- won't do. -- negotiate under threat of shut down or under actual -- down that cost him they should just do their jobs open the government presents on asking for. You know increased spending he's saying you know -- go along with continuing continuing resolution they keep spending levels of what they wore. And -- and then move forward trying to negotiate. A bigger budget agreement that. Invest where we need to protect some middle class. And reduces our deficit and responsible balanced way. John body in a scheduling announcements. As it provided they want for tomorrow okay thank you beyond that but I spectators. First -- that as a practical matter. Is it. Possible for the president to travel internationally. If the government shutdown and if you look -- that as it. -- the personnel who I would. We are currently scheduled to travel we certainly hope that. In the time between now and the president's schedule departure that speaker does the right thing puts on the floor of the house a bill that will. Overwhelmingly passed according to Republican congressman a clean CR and reopen the government. The logistics of that I think are best addressed to the agencies involved and -- But right now you know that that that the trip is scheduled and we're hoping it's only Tuesday that the government will open because. Speaker will respond to. The majority of the house over which he has to dominion hand. To the wishes of the American people to get about the businesses. Responsible government to shut out Spectra you you you know nothing right now and I have no new information to provide on. -- the president bear any responsibility whatsoever for -- I'm not sure what you mean and the president bear any response to any blame the government president president of the United States and it is his responsibility. To try to work with confidence and in that spirit of compromise well he's. -- as he or has he not before a compromise but those audiences yet there any responsibility -- simple questions bear any responsibility certainly. Did not vote to shut the government down. And if that's what you're asking no he did not vote to shut -- don't -- very -- -- John he did not. Republicans in congress chose to shut the government down the option to keep it open was available to them as an option -- a majority the house representatives. Supports a bipartisan effort failed to -- and -- word. The stuff that really by having. Multiple beatings that he didn't know he's had multiple meetings and did nothing wrong offices all Republicans doing on their own that we'll -- you can. You know do an -- there -- decide for yourself and make this judgment but I'm telling you is that this year. The president. In a very public way. Reported on by all of you. Reached out to Republicans. And offered to find common ground on budget issues and didn't just talk about it. Put -- hold on put those ideas. In -- concrete budget. Causing a lot of consternation in his own party. Because some of the choices he made and some of the decisions -- is willing to embrace -- were not popular. Among all Democrats. Democrat support groups. But he was willing to do -- because he knew that that's what it would take to reach a compromise with. Republicans who are also willing to compromise and he had very good conversations with a number. Republican senators and members of congress he had Paul Ryan in here at one point during that process. What we haven't seen unfortunately is -- commands -- -- willingness by the Republicans to put on paper. A proposal represents a compromise that it moves off their insistence. You know that represented by the Ryan budget. But the president is open to doing that he's open to having this conversation so but when it comes down to here's the president's position. He's not asking for -- return. The government should remain open congress has the power to on the government he's asking for nothing in return for congress filling its responsibility to raise debt ceiling. And is asking that they not do anything. Table yet bulletin nobody doubts that the Republicans a lot of responsibility was scored what I'm asking is looking back. The president is not happy with what areas for -- -- looking back this whole process is -- anything it was back to us. You know I've done this or try to do this or try to build this relationship or that the president has is there is nothing if president has -- he -- that he. -- president has -- It. In serious ways to find compromise with Republicans and he looks forward to doing it again. Once the Republicans in the house. Do the responsible thing and open the government and stop threatening to default on our obligations for the first time in history. Detonator. Give us an evaluation of first day health care exchanges. The consumer experience along the web site. Somehow had glitches some have been -- -- imagine that entirely. We'll continue to monitor the press briefing by white house Press Secretary Jay Carney as you just heard from our own Jonathan Karl they're asking the question that a lot of folks across the country are asking today. How could this happen who was responsible for -- government shutdown now in its fourteenth hour. The president's at an earlier announcement in the White House Rose Garden today calling it a Republican -- Republicans calling it a democratic shut -- Either way there were 800000. Federal employees -- today two million federal employees overall affected by this. Parks government attractions all close down today and services also taking a hit. Because of this shutdown. I want to bring -- ABC's Devin Dwyer who's also in Washington DC to talk about some of the news that just came out of this and -- the Press Secretary made a little bit of news. Actually at that news conference there being handed a piece of paper to the podium today saying that it's on Thursday the president was gonna visit a construction company to. Highlight the impact of a government shutdown. And I wonder if there's something to read into that given the fact that the scheduling would be for Thursday -- the White House believe in fact that that shut down is going to last beyond today beyond tomorrow possibly into Thursday. I think you can certainly read it that way -- immediately what might take away was from a press conference is there's. Absolutely no movement at all were now. Guy you know more than a dozen hours into the shut down day both sides are digging Enders no one at the table -- -- heard from the president earlier you heard. Jay Carney -- reiterated the credit the president is not negotiating on this his position has not changed and in fact. When pressed by ABC's Jonathan Karl he said he didn't even really have any regrets about his behavior in -- we've got to this crisis so. On Thursday which are gonna see from the president is he's gonna visit this construction company here Washington DC it's basically going to be a photo op. And -- right now in Washington and around the country. It's a political battle for for the optics of this and it's it's just one giant ugly blame game. And the president's event on Thursday is going to be his attempt to -- more the pressure on Republicans by highlighting the business that is suffering because of the shut down. So walk us through the legislative process that has occurred just to -- because I understand -- how our season in the senate took session. At 9:30 this morning and they defeated a bill that was sent over by the house. That's right in it was just a matter of formality really early very early this morning about one -- and just past the shut down deadline. The House of Representatives passed one last time a fourth a fourth attempt to fund the government but had some strings attached there this time they wanted to. Have this conference committee and bring everyone together to talk about possible concessions to obamacare which of course also takes effect. Today -- the senate this morning formally rejected that bringing us all the way back to square one again. With this dispute over obamacare and the federal budget for just six weeks -- Right on Capitol Hill where we're hearing from our sources there ABC's -- felony reported net. There could be a little bit of movement in this afternoon in the house another attempt a fifth attempt. To get some money back into various agencies here there's talk of possibly. And acting are voting on -- three different small very narrow funding bills. To send money to to veterans. Resources to put some money back into national parks. And also -- to put the DC government back on line three different issues keep everything else shut down. But this is their attempt to try to regain the upper hand here in this battle this messaging battle with Democrats and see if they can get Democrats to vote no. On some of these things that they want to see happen. -- houses and recess but as we just saw there senator Orrin hatch of Utah was at the podium the senate is in session. But debit and dive into the politics of this potential movement -- -- house and essentially this piecemeal effort that if in fact that's where to go forward a series of bills. To fund the government that. Effectively could dare Democrats to vote against popular. Parts of this spending. That's right -- -- and they saw they had some success with this. Approach back with the sequester a -- remember. All of these Washington battles back in about in March when the sequester those automatic spending cuts took took effect. Several weeks later congress -- both chambers of congress came back in May. Passed a narrow Mazur measures to kind of restore the cuts in certain areas to make it now looks so bad will leaving everything else in place. That eventually went through they're looking to do the same thing here and it's obviously going to be very difficult for Democrats to vote no on some of these things that were already beginning to see the negative impacts -- -- -- you heard from White House spokesman Jay Carney there the president thinks this is a non starter this is -- -- is not acceptable. And and it will be interesting to see if democratic members follow their lead in really holding the -- -- their demand that the only way to go forward here in Washington and across the country. Is by a simple up or down vote on a funding packaged as. Something that captured our attention I think is also captured the attention of lawmakers right knows a bit of a memorable scene. On -- DC today World War II vets refusing to be essentially shut out by this shut down from the World War II memorial. What happened. That's -- just a few hours after the barricades went up around the relatively new World War II memorial which sits just in between the Lincoln Memorial -- the Washington monument. These veterans were in from out of town they are part of this program called honor flight which flies World War II veterans -- kind of a dying breed. To Washington to see their memorial in person for the first time these veterans had arrived today I believe from Mississippi they were on their way to see this. And they had some members of congress with them and they. They went around the barricades. -- to colorful descriptions of storming the barricades or how that happened but they basically went and visited the memorial. And got a look at it. We we've just learned a few minutes ago that the that the National Park Service is going to once again clothes that memorial down they're not allowing anyone else. To visit that and that means any other honor flights and the other veterans visiting. Later this year will be turned away -- some sort of deal was reached. And even from those first couple of pictures that we are insane and that video that's been playing out there -- some might look at that as the absurdity of some of the effects of the -- at an open air Parker memorial. Would in fact -- victims of that. But there has now -- a political tone given to this activity. That's right in today not only have we heard from participants in that very visit. Talking about the politics of why these veterans couldn't visit there -- Were also seen as some involvement from from political groups on both sides here there was a tweet. That we saw today from the republic and National Republican Congressional Committee this is. A body that helps elect Republicans to congress. Basically you see it -- sign our petition to support our veterans storming the World War II memorial despite the Democrats shut down. A little bit ironic there since. Republicans and in many ways were the ones that kind of brought this to a head and forced the closure if you will of these memorials but. You saw the and it and -- CC their fundraising off of this they're trying to get an upper hand. You're also hearing members of congress Republicans calling for these memorials to be reopened so. A bit of it an awkward situation for some of these members after days forced and these -- monuments to close down and. Lets us know what yes. -- -- veterans affairs. We show him. -- -- Republicans -- insane. Okay here is missing now. Here's what Ronald Reagan's. Important news Washington. Yeah. Yeah. You don't stop Medicare. One of these days you are going to spend her Summers in years carry her children our children's children. Lost what little. Where he worked for him. You have growth. Well. Saturday defense its last. And the world. During patient -- Medicare council here. -- they're doing now are about Obama. Ever -- problem here is -- walk away. Forty years. -- -- -- -- -- -- We help put Americans to fight over taxes health care. Now. Third emergency. -- -- -- Robert senior political our Morgan Creek increased by 75. Seven partners. You know I was personally -- report. They can possibly work pays off. I was there. -- -- -- Senior foreign. Please be sure somebody was harmful that eloquently and hopefully a lot of us. My father started farms neighbors -- We want to. -- -- -- -- -- House Medicare. Or they're sick or hurt -- hospital. Well. Welcome or easy ridiculous on blogger and web -- has increased by a decade. Not bad it. Here's what's possible -- program and we'll. I don't want him. What was seen as a single. Figures Vegas. It is. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Well -- monetary senator. Harry Reid -- -- touting some of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act today the first day for those insurance exchanges. And -- before we let you go I wanted to ask you what -- question about this because the president was in the Rose Garden this afternoon talking about some of the benefits. And highways -- those folks that will be enrolling in the Affordable Care Act. Are Democrats right now fearful. That the Affordable Care Act known by both sides as obamacare being tied too closely to the shut down and that's where there is still this. Public road show. I haven't seen any sign of fear all day and here in Washington about that -- the affordable care would be marred in any way of course we already know the public polling. Shows that overall the law it still has not a very good reputation but individually the parts are popular the administration has been on a big push to promote the law of course. And they feel very confident in their case that as we heard this majority leader Reid say there we heard the president today say. That this was passed by both houses of congress it was upheld and that point twelve election of course. Mitt Romney wanted to repeal the -- President Obama was reelected and it and the Supreme Court upheld it so. They're very confident in where the law stands right down there are some -- taking place today but I don't think there's any concern among Democrats that it would be. And anyway. Stigma ties to if you will because of the shut down. And and they think of that as we've heard from their messaging today that -- can of paint Republicans as is sort of heartless for trying to repeal this law that has the it's popular provisions of ending pre existing conditions for example and providing free preventative health care services -- All right ABC seven to -- Washington DC -- thank you for that we will continue to live stream to events. Press Secretary Jay Carney at the White House still briefing with reporters there and senate majority leader Harry Reid also. Discussing Affordable Care Act that day that first day of those insurance exchanges. Being made available to Americans complete report on abcnews.com. For now -- Dan Butler New York. -- ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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