Obama Says Congress Needs to Get to Work
CLAYCOMO (AP) - President Barack Obama has used an appearance at a Ford Motor Co. plant near Kansas City to urge Congress to stop threats of a government shutdown and agree to raise the debt ceiling.
Obama said Friday that refusing to raise the debt ceiling is like buying a pickup truck and then refusing to make the payments. He said when individuals don't pay their bills, collectors start calling and "your credit goes south."
Obama says the same thing happens when a country doesn't pay its bills - interest rates will rise, and Ford will have fewer buyers for its vehicles.
The metaphor was tailored for the audience at Ford's Claycomo plant, which makes the popular F-150 pickup truck.
Obama says the United States isn't "some banana republic" or a "deadbeat nation." He told workers at a Missouri auto plant, "We don't run out on our tab."
Obama says instead of focusing on defunding his health care law, Republicans should pass a spending plan and raise the nation's borrowing limit to avoid a first-ever default on the nation's debt. He says they're "holding the whole country hostage."
Funding for the government is set to run out at the end of September, and the government will reach the limits of its borrowing authority a few weeks later. And Obama is locked in a stalemate with lawmakers, with less than two weeks until the start of the new budget year.
The Republican-led House today passed a bill that would keep the government running -- but it's attached to a provision that would gut funding for Obama's health care law. That provision is certain to die in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and Obama says he will veto the spending measure if that doesn't happen.
After today's House vote, Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) said the message for the Senate is that Americans don't want a government shutdown, and that they don't want the health care overhaul.
But Obama today accused Republicans of threatening to "blow the whole thing up" because they couldn't get their way on health care.