WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and the House Republicans geared up for a budget fight on Friday as Washington faces a potential government shutdown.
Speaking at a Ford plant outside of Kansas City, Missouri, the president chided the Republicans over their vote earlier Friday on a legislation that would keep the government running into December, while stripping funding of Obama's healthcare law.
Highlighting the rebounding U.S. automobile industry, Obama criticized the Congressional Republicans, saying they are more interested in politics than the economy. "They are focused on trying to mess with me," Obama told the audience.
He spoke shortly after the Republican-led House passed a stopgap spending bill, which was championed by the conservatives, to fund the government through Dec. 15 at current funding levels while prohibiting funding to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly called Obamacare.
The legislation, approved on a party line vote of 230-189, will move to the Democrats-controlled Senate, where the Democrats would for certain restore the Obamacare funding before sending it back to the House for passage by Sept. 30.
The White House has warned that Obama would veto any GOP proposal that eliminates funding for the healthcare law.
"Our message to the United States Senate is simple: the American people don't want the government shutdown, and they don't want Obamacare," said House Speaker John Boehner after the voting.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi condemned the bill as a clear attempt by the Republicans to cause a government shutdown.
"What is brought to the floor today is without a doubt ... a measure designed to shut down government," she said. "It could have no other intent. Its purpose is clear."
With just 10 days remaining before a potential government shutdown, the Republic and Democratic lawmakers are still locked in a stalemate over the fiscal issues.
Obama urged the Congress to do its job as Washington faces two looming deadlines, one is for funding the government in the new fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, the other is for the debt limit, which the Treasury Department has said will need to be raised by mid-October.
"We can't just not pay our bills. And even threatening something like that is the height of irresponsibility," Obama said.
Later on Friday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said there was "no doubt" the president would "be in conversations with congressional leaders in the coming days about the need to deal with these pressing deadlines."
Local media reported that Obama phoned Boehner on Friday to tell him he will not negotiate with Republicans on the debt ceiling, and Boehner told the president he was "disappointed" to hear his position.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved a stopgap spending bill that strips out funding for President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, setting the stage for a showdown with Senate Democrats that may push the government to a shutdown.
The legislation was approved on a party line vote of 230-189. The short-term measure, referred to as the continuing resolution, would fund the government through Dec. 15 at current funding levels while prohibiting funding to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly called Obamacare. Full story
WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Republicans know they will never reverse President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, but their leaders may opt to delay the law's implementation in a bid to shore up their conservative base before the 2014 mid-term Congressional elections, experts said.
While budget talks, the debt ceiling, and tax reform top Congress's agenda for fall, what is grabbing media attention most is the looming fight over Obama's health care overhaul, with some lawmakers of the Republican Party (GOP) calling to pull the plug on funding for the president's landmark legislation. Full story