US President Barack Obama has strongly criticized Republicans for a government shutdown saying Republicans should not be able to hold the entire economy “hostage.”
“They’ve shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans,” he said during his speech in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday.
“Many Representatives have made it clear that had they been allowed by Speaker (John) Boehner to take a simple up or down vote on keeping government open with no strings attached, enough votes from both parties would have kept the American people’s government open and operating,” Obama added.
The US president made the remarks after the Republican-led House of Representatives made funding for government operations for the new fiscal year contingent on defunding, delaying or dismantling President Obama’s healthcare law.
Obama also called on the Republicans to reopen the government quickly.
“This Republican shutdown did not have to happen — I want every American to understand why it did happen,” Obama said. “I urge House Republicans to reopen the government.”
He warned that if the shutdown continues, it will make it more difficult to recruit talented people for government jobs.
According to some estimates, over 800,000 federal employees face unpaid leave with no guarantee of back pay when the deadlock is over while other estimates say upwards of 1 million workers face unpaid leave.
With prospects of a swift resolution to the crisis seem unclear what is certain is that the poor and average Americans are going to be hit the hardest. But the worse could be coming on 17th of October as a looming debt ceiling may see the US default on its debt.
Adapted From Press TV