Obama blasts ‘ideological crusade’ by House GOP as government shuts down

Senate rejects House negotiation offer


Evan Vucci/AP

WASHINGTON – The standoff that partially shut down the U.S. government persisted with no sign of a breakthrough Tuesday, as the Democratic-led Senate rejected a House Republican effort to negotiate a solution to a dispute over the health care overhaul.

About 800,000 employees — about a third of the federal workforce — are being forced off the job in the first government shutdown in 17 years, suspending most nonessential federal programs and services. People classified as essential employees — such as air traffic controllers, Border Patrol agents and most food inspectors — will continue to work.

In a 54-46 party-line vote, the Senate turned aside a House request to name negotiators to a conference to resolve differences. The shutdown began when Congress missed a midnight deadline Monday to pass temporary funding bill, stalled by conservative efforts to push through a delay in President Barack Obama’s health law.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would not negotiate as long as Republicans were holding up a straightforward spending bill to keep the government operating.

It wasn’t clear how long the impasse would last. The Senate vote marked the fourth time during this fight that it has rejected House Republican proposals, including an initial attempt to defund the health care program altogether.

House Republicans answered the latest Senate vote with a proposal for legislation to reopen portions of the government, including iconic national parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone, while still demanding concessions on health care. The idea was swiftly rejected by White House spokesman Jay Carney as “not a serious approach.”

Obama said House Republicans have shut down the government over an “ideological crusade” against his health care law. In a White House speech, the president said Republicans should not be able to hold the entire economy “hostage.”

White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri told MSNBC that the administration is open to changes in the health care law in future negotiations, but not as part of passing a budget bill.

Stock markets around the world reacted resiliently, with analysts saying significant damage to the U.S. economy was unlikely unless the shutdown lasted more than a few days. U.S. stocks edged higher Tuesday, while European stocks mostly recovered after falling the day before the shutdown deadline. Asian stocks were mixed.

The stalemate pits Democrats against a core of conservative small-government activists who have mounted a campaign to seize the must-do budget measure in an effort to dismantle the 2010 health care reform, which is intended to provide coverage for the millions of Americans now uninsured.

In the House, conservative Rep. Marsha Blackburn predicted the standoff would drag for several days. “People are going to realize they can live with a lot less government,” she told Fox News.

Republicans passionately oppose the plan they have dubbed “Obamacare” as wasteful and restricting freedom by requiring most Americans to have health insurance.

A key part of the health law was taking effect Tuesday, unaffected by the shutdown. Enrollment opened for millions of people shopping for medical insurance.

National parks, museums in Washington and agencies like NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency nearly closed. The National Zoo in Washington was closed to visitors and employees turned off the popular panda cam that had showed off a weeks-old cub.

Pentagon and administration lawyers were looking for ways to expand the number of Defence Department civilians who are exempt from furloughs, amid worries that that the shutdown is damaging U.S. credibility among its international allies, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said.

Until now, such temporary spending bills have been routinely passed with bipartisan support, ever since a pair of unpopular shutdowns in the winter of 1995-1996 severely damaged Republican election prospects and revived then-President Bill Clinton’s political standing.

The Republican leader of the House, Speaker John Boehner, said he didn’t want a government shutdown, but he insisted that the health care law “is having a devastating impact. … Something has to be done.”

Republican leaders have voiced reservations about the effort and many lawmakers predicted it wouldn’t work, fearing the public will blame their party for the shutdown. But individual Republican House members may face a greater risk by embracing a compromise. Many represent heavily partisan congressional districts, and voters in Republican primaries have ousted lawmakers they see as too moderate.

Looming ahead is a potentially more dangerous fight: Republicans are likely to take up the health care fight again when Congress must pass a measure to increase the nation’s borrowing cap. The U.S. risks a market-rattling, first-ever default on its obligations if Congress fails to raise that limit.

The White House was operating with a skeletal staff Tuesday, and officials were discussing whether Obama should change plans for a trip to Asia scheduled to begin Saturday.

The State Department continued processing passports and visas because that service is financed through fees. Embassies and consulates overseas were also open.

Lawmakers and the president were still getting paid, at a rate totalling more than $250,000 per day. That frustrated some Americans worried about the ripple effects of the shutdown.

Barbara Haxton, executive director of Ohio Head Start Association, said her program for poor preschoolers would be in jeopardy if the shutdown lasted more than two weeks.

“These are the poorest of the poor children,” Haxton said. “And our congressman still gets his paycheque.”

Associated Press writers Andrew Taylor, Connie Cass, Donna Cassata, Alan Fram, Nedra Pickler and Seth Borenstein contributed to this report.


Obama blasts ‘ideological crusade’ by House GOP as government shuts down

  1. The bottom line is that Obama is President and that irregardless of who or what happens he is ultimately responsible and were a solution possible it would have to have entailed compromise which he was as unwilling to do as his detractors ! therefore – he will eventually take the heat for this – yes it will have to go through all the usual media bias and poltiical gamesmanship and web forums on fire everywhere with critics, pundits and haters ranting as usual and all of this will be to no avail – every day that goes by now Obama is weaker and weaker and of less and less relevance : Despite the media narrative being heaped upon the Tea Party representatives the situation is not changed the boss is the boss and is responsible! The Democratic party has already started to slowly distance themselves from Obama and this will accelerate as the media will start to shift the gears slowly to who will be the next Democrat to get Obama’s endorsement = the moment he is aked this question he is officially comatose and the on life support . It matters little now what he does or doesn’t do – the real issue will be how he will leverage whatever poltical capital he has left to help the party for the future – this will be his real legacy – will he exit stage left gracefully handing power to his partisan successor or will he focus on whatever he thinks his legacy will be at the cost to the party – this is the question being asked in the back rooms right now. Lameduck is a sad state of affairs and thankfully we dont have such in canada

    • The Republican side is trying to use a budget to overturn what electors voted for and are being railroaded by the so called grass roots Tea Party. By the way it is “regardless” not irregardless. Irregardless is a double negative. Don’t worry just a pet peeve of mine.

      • Actually not. Obama hasn’t kept his cost reductions deal made int he last crisis. Obama is just a debt delinquent crying for more debt to the kids and grand kids. Not a good moral decision.

        But Obama does have a big mouth and does rope in the debt-greedy other peoples money for nothing crowd.

        • Don’t see it that way I see it as it is a Republican Cadre of extremists holding the White house to ransom,under the guise of ideology, they are playing chicken with the lives of the average person as they sit in their gilded cages.

        • Huh? The sequestration is still in effect, and it’s the house that passes budgets, not the President. Obama is obliged to carry out the budget that’s in place, he couldn’t spend less if he wanted to.

    • I didnt know the Koch brothers had so much influence in Canada.

      • Don’t kid yourself think of the Wild Rose as Tea Party Lite.

        • At least we pay our bills with our real money. All you fleabaggers want is other peoples money to freeload.

          Mortaging our kids and grand kids for debt, bailouts and greed of today isn’t moral at all. It people being blinded by the greed of debt addiction. Money only works if there is value in it, and that value of money is rapidly depreciating from the fraud of “just more debt for the kids and grand kids” mentality.

          Best part of this, is you fleabaggers have a big lesson coming. Be it debt-taxes or low value money for a standard of living drop, the real price of debt is a coming your way. Government will worry about itself, not others.

          Me, I retired early so I don’t generate as much taxes to greedy governemtn any more. And offshore too, as why be screwed by people who can’t respect the value of money.

    • I was going to respond to what you said, and then I realized you didn’t really say anything.

      Vague claims of Democrats distancing themselves from Obama and accusations of weakness and lame ducks. That’s not an argument, it’s just an incoherent ramble, please figure out what you want to say before you type.

  2. These tea party terrorists and Rafael Ted Cruz tried more than 40 times to kill the

    ACA. They love themselves more than their country and are willing to destroy it at any cost.

  3. About 800,000 employees — about a third of the federal workforce — are
    being forced off the job in the first government shutdown in 17 years,
    suspending most nonessential federal programs and services. People
    classified as essential employees — such as air traffic controllers,
    Border Patrol agents and most food inspectors — will continue to work.

    Must be nice to be able to afford 800,000 non essential employees.

    • It’s emergency conditions.

      • Like my US buddy says, sewer/water work, city police still have control, electric is on….

        Let DC get some reality check as it also means less war. As the engineering of war to keep the budget didn’t work out (yet).

        • Federal govt Dave, not municipal.

          • I know, it is what I was eluding too. Feds can shutdown and it does really mater to productive workers as they don’t depend on feds for much. The nation isn’t going to grind to a halt because Obama ran out of money (again). Just DC getting a reality check.

          • Yes, it matters to all of them….and to Americans in general

            Obama didn’t run out of money….Congress is refusing to pay their bills….the ones they voted to spend.

    • Yep, and maybe like Belgium when it did this, the public realized most of the cuts should be made permanent.

      The reality is USA doesn’t need 27 individual housing departments and the decades of layers of more and more inefficient and ineffective government and is long overdue for a good house cleaning.

      Goes for Ottawa too.

  4. Lets see here, how many times has the American government raised the debt ceiling in it’s history… why, ever single time they have set a limit! So, it is very clear what the real issue is here, even to Americans I would hope.

    How much will it cost… less than 1% of the current spy agency budgets… or shut down one of the 12 carrier groups and that will cover it… or 0.01% of the pentagon budget…

    Now you see why the people David Lettermen used to call “money grubbing scum”, are intentionally sabotaging the USA economy. Cost has nothing to do with it.

    It is also shamefully transparent who actually controls the government in America, no sane politician would wrap up a budget with this totally removed issue and shut down their country’s federal services.

    I do hope at least a few more American citizens are finally able to now grasp what the rest of the planet already knows about US politics and the current politicians.

    The voting on this issue would read like a program at a sporting event, I think all of the bad apples have been clearly identified.

    • It is a good way to control spending. Canada should adopt it with a twist. Let voters and taxpayers vote on expanding debt and not just hide it in BoC electronic counterfeit to buy Ottawa and provincial debt no real savvy lenders are buying.

      Its much harder to corrupt the millions of working productive people that pay for it than a few corrupt party leaders influenced by back room deals and lobbyists.

      • A debt ceiling is a horrible idea. Governments spend money to fulfil their obligations, if you want to spend less money than reduce those obligations. Threatening to break those obligations with a debt ceiling just introduces a potential disaster that helps nothing.

  5. ‘How does one party that has lost two presidential elections and a
    Supreme Court case – as well as two Senate elections – think it has
    the right to shut down the entire government and destroy the full faith
    and credit of the United States Treasury to get its way on universal
    healthcare now’?


  6. Amazing the financial illiteracy over at CBC. Truly amazing how many people don’t understand money and why we use it, and that just having Bernanke create an infinite amount of debt fraud is going to work out well. No country or currency in history survives infinitum debt and money print. But it has fueled either a countries economic failure and or revolutions.

    I aso get a kick out of the left in this. How is it moral ro add debt to your kids, grand kids and others for todays greed of bailouts, buddy deals, waste, corruption and massively excessive governments we can no longer afford?

    As it is clear why the economy is in the craper, producers don’t have enough of their own money, and enough value in that money to drive the economy. Governemtn wastes too much on non-productive bureaucratic BS and liberal spend mentality.

    Never seen any person or organization debt-spend themselves out of a debt problem. Only fools and myopically greedy think that way.

    Government can’t solve the economic problems as they are the cause of the problems.

    Obama must be real stupid or have a hidden agenda, as he will have debt spend more than all presidents before him combined by the time his final term is done. How is this moral? Nothing in Christianity or Islam says to do this.

    Reality is USA is bankrupt, only real choices is how will it go down. It typically takes nations and currencies 20+ years to recover once the fraud stops. But like holes, debt is like holes, to fix a debt depression you have to stop digging.

  7. History will show Obamanomics of just more debt bankrupted USA. Can’t keep increasing the electronic counterfeit money money print forever, as eventually the currency becomes worthless.

    And I see no morals in mortgaging the kids and grand kids futures for debt greed today.

    Debt addiction is like heroin addiction. Lets people discard morals, discard rationality, ignore reality for just one more fun fix, while it kills you.

  8. I fail to see any morality in the greed of todays bailouts, corruption, waste, excessive governemtn we mortgage our kids and grand kids any further.

    Fact is you can’t debt-spend your way out of a debt problem. Only liberals, fools and corrupt believe you can. Time to pay your bills with real money or suffer the consequences. When the currency collapses, you money for nothing types better have a way to earn a living that doesn’t rely on picking other peoples pockets via the tax man.

    As a revolution is in the making. Its time for this generation to learn why we have money and to honor thy debts.

    • For all your talk of spending and debt this has nothing to do with debt or spending.

      The Republicans aren’t proposing new taxes, massive cuts to entitlements, the military, or anything else.

      They’re going after a program which won’t really affect the debt. If the dems killed ObamaCare the Republicans would happily raise the debt ceiling. The shutdown and debt ceiling are just the weapons Republicans are using.

  9. The US government isn’t too big to fail, its too expensive to save.

  10. So…

    The guy who just barricaded a f**king outdoor War Memorial to keep World War II veterans out of it, and is now threatening to arrest them if they show up, is complaining about the GOP’s “ideological crusade”?

    It’s a shame we don’t have an actual media willing to make this small, pathetic man pay a political price for this kind of bullsh!t.

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