With the federal government just days away from shutting down, President Obama warned congressional negotiators to “act like adults,” and declared “I do not want to see Washington politics stand in the way of America’s progress.”
The president made his remarks during a town hall meeting with workers at a wind turbine-production plant in Pennsylvania. While this would have normally been a staid event, Obama used the occasion to denounce Republicans. “We’ve now agreed to cut as much as Republicans originally asked for. We’ve agreed to a compromise but we still don’t have a deal.” The president went on to say that Republicans were delaying a deal by veering off into unrelated issues like abortion.
On Tuesday the president said that he would continue to host meetings of congressional leaders in order to avert a shutdown. But at least as of Wednesday afternoon, no significant progress seems to have been made. Meanwhile federal workers are beginning to be informed of what their status would be under a shutdown and the Office of Management and Budget warned that everything from new passport applications to Washington’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade would be scuttled if the government shut down.
The president waxed humorous at times. “How many folks are married here? When was the last time you just got your way? That’s not how it works.”
“The fact is that you have to make compromises as a family, an American family.”
Obama said that a shutdown would hurt the economy “just as it's gaining momentum” and warned that businesses would be made insecure by the lack of a budget deal. “Businesses don’t like uncertainty,” he said.
“Right now we need to just make sure that we pay our bills and that the government stays open.”