WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says House
Republicans have shut down the federal government over an "ideological
crusade" against his health care law.
Obama spoke in the Rose Garden on the first
day of the government shutdown. He said the longer the shutdown
continues, the worse the impact will be.
The president said Republicans should not be able
to hold the entire economy "hostage." He urged them to reopen the
government quickly and allow furloughed federal employees to go back to
The president earlier lamented that government
employees have become "punching bags" in Washington's partisan fiscal
fights. About 800,000 federal workers are being forced off the job
because Congress did not pass a bill to keep the government funded ahead
of Monday's midnight deadline for the end of the 2013 fiscal year.
Obama said that if the shutdown continues, it will make it more difficult to recruit talented people for government jobs.
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