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Text of President Obama's Remarks

April 7, 2011

"I just completed another meeting with Speaker Boehner and Leader Reid. And I wanted to report again to the American people that we've made some additional progress this evening. I think the staffs of both the House and the Senate, as well as the White House staff, have been working very hard to try to narrow the differences. We made some progress today. Those differences have been narrowed. Once again the staff is going to be working tonight, around the clock, in order to see if we can finally close a deal. But there's still a few issues that are outstanding. They are difficult issues. They are important to both sides. So I'm not yet prepared to express wild optimism. But I think we are further along today than we were yesterday.

"I want to reiterate to people why this is so important. We are now less than 30 hours away from the government shutting down. That means first of all, 800,000 families—our neighbors, our friends, who are working hard all across the country in a variety of functions, they suddenly are not allowed to come to work. It also means they are not getting a paycheck that obviously, has a tremendous impact. You then have millions of more people who end up being impacted, because they are not getting the services from the federal [government] that are important to them. So small businesses aren't seeing their loans processed. Folks who want a mortgage through the FHA, may not be able to get it. Obviously that is not good as weak as this housing market is. You have people trying to get a passport for a trip that they've been planning for a long time. They may not be able to do that. So millions more people will be significantly inconvenienced in some ways they may up actually seeing money lost or opportunities lost because of the government shutdown.

"Finally, affect on the economy overall. Earlier today one our nation's top economists said and I'm quoting, 'The economic damage from a government shutdown would mount very quickly.' The longer it dragged on the greater the odds of a renewed recession.


We've been working very hard over the last two years to get this economy back on its feet. We've now seen 13 months of job growth. 1.8 million new jobs. We had the best report, jobs report that we've seen in a very long time just this past Friday. For us to go backwards, because Washington couldn't get its act together, is unacceptable. So, again, 800,000 federal workers and their families impacted. Millions of people who are reliant on government services, not getting those services. Businesses, farmers, veterans, and finally overall impact on the economy that could end up severely hampering our recovery and our ability to put people back to work. 

"That’s what is at stake. That's why it is important for the American people. That's why I'm expecting that as a consequence of the work done by our staffs tonight we can agree tomorrow. What I've said to the Speaker and what I've said to Harry Reid is because the machinery of the shutdown is necessarily starting to move, I expect an answer in the morning. And my hope is, is that I will be able to announce to the American people sometime relatively early in the day that a shutdown has been averted that a deal has been completed. That has very meaningful cuts in a wide variety of categories that helps us move in the direct of living within our means. But preserves our investments in things like education and innovation, research, that are going to be important for our long-term competitiveness that's what I hope to be able to announce tomorrow. There's no certainty yet. But I expect an answer sometime early in the day. Thank you very much everybody."

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