POOL - AP CLIENTS ONLY
Liberty, Missouri - September 20, 2013
1. SOUNDBITE (English) President Barack Obama, (D) United States:
"unfortunately there is a faction on the far right of the Republican party right now, it's not everybody but it's a pretty big faction who convinced their party to force a government shutdown and potentially threaten to not raise the debt ceiling if they cant shut off the Affordable Care Act, also known as 'Obamacare'. Now think about this, they are not talking about spending cuts, they're not talking about entitlement reform, they're not talking about any of that, they are talking about something that has nothing to do with the budget. They are actually willing to plunge America into default if we can't defund the Affordable Care Act. Now lets put this in perspective, the Affordable Care Act has been in the law for three and a half years, it passed both Houses of Congress, the Supreme Court ruled in Constitutional, it was an issue in last year's elections. The guy who was running against me said he was going to repeal it, we won. (Applause) So the voters were pretty clear on this and then Republicans in Congress have tried to repeal or sabotage this more than forty times, they've had these repeal votes. Every time they've failed. This law that is in place is already providing people benefits. Its not holding back economic growth, it's helping millions of Americans, including some of you or your family members you may not be aware of."
The GOP-controlled House voted Friday to cripple President Barack Obama's health care law as part of a risky ploy that threatens a partial shutdown of the government in a week and a half.
The fight is coming on a stopgap funding measure required to keep the government fully running after the Oct. 1 start of the new budget year. Typically, such measures advance with sweeping bipartisan support, but tea party activists forced GOP leaders _ against their better judgment _ to add a provision to cripple the health care law that is the signature accomplishment of Obama's first term.
Republicans welcomed the vote, saying the new health care law is a disaster that is forcing cutbacks in workers' hours, raising health insurance premiums and being implemented unfairly. House Republicans have voted more than 40 times to disable all or part of the health care law.
The partisan 230-189 vote sets the stage for a confrontation with the Democratic-led Senate, which promises to strip the health care provision from the bill next week and challenge the House to pass it as a simple, straightforward funding bill that President Barack Obama will sign.
The temporary funding bill is needed because Washington's longstanding budget stalemate has derailed the annual appropriations bills required to fund federal agency operations.
The fight over the must-do funding bill comes as Washington is bracing for an even bigger battle over increasing the government's borrowing cap to make sure the government can pay its bills. Democrats say they won't be held hostage and allow Republicans to use the must-pass measures as leverage to win legislative victories that they otherwise couldn't.