President Obama is warning about the economic consequences of the lingering, partial shutdown of the federal government. Visiting a construction company in Maryland, the President cited ongoing, steady progress in the economic recovery. He said the recovery cannot afford to take a hit from a long government shutdown. Obama blamed congressional Republicans, calling the shutdown "reckless and damaging."
The President warned the shutdown will have a ripple effect across the U.S. He said the longer it goes on, the worse it will be. Obama called on House Republicans to approve a budget extension "without partisan strings attached." The budget impasse centers on repeated efforts by House Republicans to inhibit the healthcare reform law. The President said, Obamacare is moving forward while parts of the government are shut down. He insisted it is the law of the land and is "here to stay."
Obama also talked about a looming fight with congressional Republicans over raising the federal debt ceiling. He warned about severe economic consequences if the U.S. government defaults. The nation's more than 16-trillion dollar debt limit will be reached around October 17th. The President said Congress has a responsibility to raise the debt ceiling and pay bills "already racked up." He insisted it has nothing to do with new spending or deficits and noted that the debt ceiling has been raised dozens of times during the past five presidential administrations.