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September 30, 2013

President Obama accuses GOP of looking to refight election

With a government shutdown looking more likely by the hour, President Barack Obama on Monday warned that it would "throw a wrench into the gears" of a fragile economy.

"A shutdown will have a very real economic impact on real people, right away," Obama said, noting the federal government is the largest employer in the nation and that while paychecks may be stopped for some workers, bills won't. "Past shutdowns have disrupted the economy significantly. This one will too."

"The idea of putting the American people's hard-earned progress at risk is the height of irresponsibility, and it doesn't have to happen," he said, calling on the House to pass a clean bill.

"One faction, of one party, in one House of Congress, in one branch of government doesn't get to shut down the entire government just to re-fight the results of an election," he said. "Keeping the people's government open is not a concession to me."

He suggested the fight would be futile: "The Affordable Care Act is moving forward. That funding is already in place. You can't shut it down," he said. "This is a law that passed both Houses of Congress, a law that bears my signature, a law that the Supreme Court upheld as constitutional, a law that voters chose not to repeal last November, a law that is already providing benefits."

He dismissed the idea of a one year delay, saying Republicans would only continue pushing: "Does anybody truly believe that we won't have this fight again in a couple more months?Even at Christmas?"

He closed with a note of optimism, noting that although time was running out, his "hope and expectation is that in the 11th hour once again that Congress will choose to do the right thing and that the House of Representatives in particular will choose the right thing."


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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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