Divisions over Obamacare continue as shutdown looms
"The House Republicans are so concerned with appeasing the `Tea Party' that they've threatened a government shutdown or worse unless I gut or repeal the Affordable Care Act," the President said. "I said this yesterday; let me repeat it: That's not going to happen."
The government's short-term fate now is up to the Republican-run House of Representatives, which passed a stopgap spending plan last week that defunds Obamacare. Republicans are scheduled to meet privately today, then the full House plans to meet throughout the day. The Republicans were expected to reject the Senate plan or at least to delay action on it.
Social Security payments might be delayed. National parks and museums may begin closing. Military personnel would remain on duty but might not get paid on schedule. About 800,000 of the 2 million-strong federal workforce might be furloughed without pay.
"No one gets to hurt our economy ... just because there are some laws you don't like," he said.
"Nobody gets to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States just to extract political concessions," he said.
Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said Obama was "grandstanding."
One side, largely elected with backing of the conservative Tea Party, wants Obamacare defunded and repealed, period. The other, largely senior members, was more pragmatic and argued that the Senate, where Democrats control 54 of the 100 seats, would never agree to dilute the health care law.
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