Dems say it's time for GOP to unite, end shutdown

Budget Battle
J. Scott Applewhite

Storm clouds hang over Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, as the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate stand at an impasse.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama decided to stay home from economic summits in Asia as Democrats stepped up pressure on congressional Republicans to rein in their tea party faction and reopen the government with no strings attached.

The White House called the partial government shutdown that entered its fourth day Friday "completely avoidable" and complained the shutdown was interfering with the president's efforts to promote trade and U.S. influence in emerging world markets.

Democrats pointed to disagreements within the Republican Party, where reluctant congressional leaders were prodded into a showdown over government funding and Obama's health care law by rowdier conservatives, such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

To get the government up and running again, "it will take some coming together on the Republican side," said the House's lead Democrat, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California.

"It's very hard to negotiate with the Republicans when they can't negotiate with themselves," Pelosi told CBS "This Morning" on Friday.

Obama criticized House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, for not bringing up a vote to finance the full reopening of the government without conditions.

"Speaker John Boehner won't even let the bill get a yes-or-no vote, because he doesn't want to anger the extremists in his party. That's all. That's what this whole thing is about," Obama said Thursday at a campaign-style event at a Rockville, Md., construction company.

Boehner and other Republicans put the blame on Obama. They say he should recognize the flaws of "Obamacare" and negotiate solutions as part of a deal to end the shutdown that forced the furlough of some 800,000 workers, more than a third of federal civilian employees.

Boehner said Obama was being "irresponsible."

On Friday, the Republican-led House was keeping up a drive to finance certain agencies and programs on a piecemeal basis — a strategy rejected by Obama and the Democratic-led Senate.

"We are not picking winners and losers," Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said Friday on MSNBC. "I think what we are doing is exercising stewardship over the taxpayers' dollars. ...I'm ready to go to work today and get it done."

The House planned a vote to fund a popular program providing food aid to pregnant women and their children, as well as ongoing disaster relief.

Furloughed federal workers were expected to get some relief with legislation authorizing back pay due for a vote on Friday or Saturday in the House. Some top Democrats have supported that idea alongside Republicans.

Obama had been scheduled to leave Saturday for economic summits next week in Indonesia and Brunei. His decision to cancel those plans underscored how entrenched both sides were in a partisan showdown with no end in sight.

Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Bali, Indonesia, on Friday to head the U.S. delegation to the summits.

"The cancellation of this trip is another consequence of the House Republicans forcing a shutdown of the government," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. "This completely avoidable shutdown is setting back our ability to create jobs through promotion of U.S. exports and advance U.S. leadership and interests in the largest emerging region in the world."

Lawmakers said the shutdown that began Tuesday when the government began its new budget year seemed to be quickly merging with a more critical showdown over the nation's expiring line of credit, raising the stakes for the still-fragile economy.

Obama and his Treasury Department said failure to raise the nation's borrowing limit, expected to hit its $16.7 trillion cap in mid-October, could precipitate an economic nosedive worse than the recent Great Recession. A default could cause the nation's credit markets to freeze, the value of the dollar to plummet and U.S. interest rates to skyrocket, according to a Treasury report.

Obama cataloged a litany of troubles that could be caused by the failure to raise the debt ceiling, from delayed Social Security and disability checks to worldwide economic repercussions.

"If we screw up, everybody gets screwed up," he said.

The speaker's office reiterated Boehner's past assertion that he would not let the government default on its debt. "But if we're going to raise the debt limit, we need to deal with the drivers of our debt and deficits," his spokesman, Michael Steel, said. "That's why we need a bill with cuts and reforms to get our economy moving again."

Obama is pushing hard against expectations that he needs to give concessions in exchange for a normally routine stopgap funding bill. And on the separate debt limit increase, needed to make sure that the U.S. can pay all of its bills on time and in full, Democrats pointed to the debt ceiling increases they gave to former President George W. Bush without any strings attached.

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JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Check your lies at the door Baggers...Defunding is not funding

Oxy Morons ---Sen. Ted Cruz – the very person who engineered the shutdown – is busy now redefining exactly what counts as an essential function of government. “We ought to fund vital priorities,” Cruz told the Salt Lake Tribune on Monday. “We should reopen the national parks today; we should fund the [Department of Veterans Affair] today.”
So a guy who defines himself unapologetically and unambiguously as “a fan of limited government…a fiscal conservative and economic conservative” places national parks on the same priority level as caring for the people who served in America’s military. This way of madness – or at least unsustainable levels of spending, deficits, and debt – lies.

The Repbs in the House are

The Repbs in the House are voting to fund major spending as we speak. The Dems are against funding. Call Harry Reid, tell him to stop the shut down. Call Angus King, tell him to stop the shut down, and support the funding passed by Congress.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

It is called

Defunding by your the party (Cult is more appropriate) of your nuts, that want millions to die from no health care access...everything will be funded with a clean are not funding anything except the departments the GOP shut down, called bait and switch....

Meet Butch a Republican small business man from the those on the right that have some smarts....and sees the importance and need for ACA...
Meet Butch Matthews, A Republican Who Came To Love Obamacare After Realizing It Will Save Him $13,000



Anybody who thinks the Republicans are united about anything needs to read the news. Their meetings at the moment are being called a "lynching". At least 21 Republicans are calling for a vote on a clean CR. At the moment nobody is calling for defunding the ACA. They are calling for everything from opening monuments to abdication of paying the bills they ran up by not raising the debt ceiling. One guy will settle for not being "disrespected". And a solid majority on a Fox News poll said they disapproved of shutting the government. Who is solidly united right now are the democrats. But then at some point you have to put an end to the patients taking over the asylum and grown-ups have to put an end to the toddler tantrums.

Jim Cyr's picture

End shutdown ??

What shutdown ?? The working person's pay check will still get robbed of hard earned pay and the TSA is still at it at the airports.....etc etc etc What shutdown ? With 93% of E.P.A. deemed non-essential and sent home, sounds like a good place to start to cut "non-essentials" and reduce the size of government to essentials only.

Bill McLean's picture

Funny thing is, the GOP

Funny thing is, the GOP actually IS united. Against Obamacare. They have voted topay all of the government's expenses EXCEPT Obamacare. Obama is unwilling to budge - and so he is causing this whole shutdown. Look in the Congressional Records - the vote was cast. Fact.

David Pinkham's picture

Dem Advice

Well Geee Whizz, thank you dems for helping us understand the problem!

Do the math. 17 trillion dollars in debt. 340 million Americans.

Every single citizen is in debt $50,000 before we even think about buying a car, house or furnishings. For my family of five, that's $250,000 in wasted capital.

Pull your head out of it dems and be thankful someone is willing to take a stand against this obscenity.

We're not gonna take it.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Oops another liar from the teabagger nation...

CNN's Crossfire host Stephanie Cutter also challenged Gardner on his claim that a comparable plan would push his insurance up by 100 percent.

"I looked up what's happening in Colorado," Cutter said. "Now you make too much money to qualify for the tax credit, but the median income in Colorado is somewhere around $57,000. You make more than that, so a family of four who can get the tax credit, they can buy a silver plan -- which is a very good plan, much better than what's being offered right now -- for $718 with the tax credit that they will be eligible for, they will only pay $388 per month. So why is that a bad deal?"

Gardner, and the House GOP, have voted to defund Obamacare over 40 times.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Geez Dave

Did you get that bill for that 50 K yet, please let us know when you do....

David Pinkham's picture

You get the same bill I do

You get the same bill I do Jerry. And you pay it every time you pay property tax, income tax, social security tax, gas tax, tire tax, fuel oil tax, food tax, etc. The only thing that's free is your decision to ignore it.

The portion of tax revenue that goes only to pay interest on this obscene debt would cover the ACA.

Just not thought out:

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture


SS... if you or your spouse die the other is entitled to the larger income than the deceased...if you have children they are entitled to benefits to assist them thru school and college, say like Rep. Paul Ryan (R), did when his dad died young.

Oh the disability available from SS if you are unable to work due to illness or accident....good tax investment for protection if you really break it out...

of course you get those that said put it on my check I will invest it and make more, but then again not all are investment geniuses.

Like our old retirees for years argued the same flipping sound byte and have zilch for pensions since they didn't want to invest in the early stages on pensions and now the members have 3 to 7 K..... A MONTH from the pensions we set up for our members.

Called pools to help the majority, for lower cost and better buying power....

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

One CEO's very wise words....

“No one really knows what the impact will be because it really is a very new way for reimbursing for health care,” the hospital’s CEO told a local news station.

The sky is falling....

Those other taxes you listed have been here for decades and has nothing to do with taxes are in the lowest they have ever been since as my departed mom would say,"So, buttons"

Don't forget about your SS check each month ....the fund you get more than what you put in since it is a Defined Benefit....all based on the large pool, to where ACA is pooled to cut cost and premiums.

How can you say it is failed when it is not out the gate yet and as everything in business, you find out the hiccups and modify and adjust to endure and overcome.

Bill McLean's picture

David - you sir are a good

David - you sir are a good man.


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