News / USA

Obama: Republican Budget Tactics a 'Last Gasp'

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the University of Buffalo, New York, Aug. 22, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the University of Buffalo, New York, Aug. 22, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
U.S. President Barack Obama said he is frustrated with Republicans who are considering the threat of a government shutdown and other tactics to try to thwart his healthcare overhaul.

In an interview on CNN's New Day program that aired on Friday, Obama called on Congress to get to work to pass a comprehensive budget when lawmakers return to Washington next month rather than engage in threats to use the nation's debt ceiling or a federal government shutdown as political leverage.

“Republicans, after having taken 40 votes to try to get rid of Obamacare, see this as their last gasp,” Obama said in the interview, which was taped Thursday night.

“Look, ultimately, the buck stops with me. And so any time we are not moving forward on things that should be simple, I get frustrated,” Obama said, adding that congressional Republicans need “to think less about politics and party and think more about what's good for the country.”

Congress faces two key deadlines this fall: an Oct. 1 deadline to pass legislation funding federal agencies, or else shut down the government; and in late October or early November, lawmakers must pass an increase in the U.S. debt limit or face a default.

Republicans, who staunchly oppose Obama's 2010 healthcare measure known as Obamacare, have said they are considering using the debt limit as leverage to halt the law's implementation.

That would be an alternative to another approach backed by conservative Tea Party Republicans who want to deny funding for the law and threaten a possible government shutdown, though many other Republicans in both the House and the Senate oppose that strategy as reckless.

Obama said either tactic would be harmful.

“There is nobody out there who thinks that us not paying bills we've already racked up is good for the economy, is appropriate,” he said, adding that using the country's borrowing limit as leverage would harm America's reputation.

Shutting down the federal government would also hurt the economy and working Americans, he said.

Instead, the Republican-led House of Representatives and the Democratic-controlled Senate should focus on their “core responsibility” of working out their differences and passing a budget and approving a debt limit so the country can operate, Obama said.

“If Congress simply does those two things when they get back, then the economy can continue to recover,” Obama said.

“If you are putting the American people first, if you are prioritizing them, then this shouldn't be that difficult,” he added.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid