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Shutdown will 'throw wrench' into economy, Obama says

By Jim Kuhnhenn

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 04:59 p.m. HST, Sep 30, 2013

WASHINGTON >> President Barack Obama ramped up pressure on Republicans today to avoid a post-midnight government shutdown, saying that failure to pass a short-term spending measure to keep agencies operating would "throw a wrench into the gears" of a recovering economy.

Late today, Obama called Republican and Democratic congressional leaders but there was no breakthrough in the budget impasse.

Earlier, Obama urged House Republicans to pass a short-term spending bill free of any conditions that would weaken the nation's 3-year-old health care law.

Obama spoke as the House and Senate traded measures, with the Republican-led House seeking to delay implementation of the health care law and the Democratic Senate insisting on an unencumbered short-term spending bill.

Obama did embrace one GOP measure today, signing legislation that would ensure that members of the armed forces would continue to get paid during any shutdown. The House had passed the legislation over the weekend and the Senate approved it today.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has been under pressure from conservatives to use the stopgap spending bill and subsequent legislation that would raise the nation's borrowing authority as leverage to delay or cut federal finances to the health care law as a way of stopping it in its tracks. The health care law is entering a crucial new stage on Tuesday when people begin to sign up for the insurance marketplaces set up under the law to help the uninsured.

"One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government doesn't get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election," Obama said, responding to House maneuvers in the White House briefing room.

The spending fight is a prelude to the bigger confrontation over the nation's credit limit, expected to hit its $16.7 trillion cap in mid-October. Obama today urged Republicans not to saddle the legislation to increase the debt ceiling with measures designed to undermine the health care law. He has vowed not to negotiate over the debt ceiling, noting that a default would be worse for the economy than a partial government shutdown.

On Wednesday, Obama is scheduled to meet with top Wall Street CEOs to discuss the state of the economy, including the debt ceiling. The meeting is with members of the Financial Services Forum, a trade group representing the 19 biggest financial service institutions doing business in the United States, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Citigroup. The Forum joined 250 other business organizations in a letter to Congress today calling on them to avoid a shutdown, raise the debt ceiling and then address long-term spending issues and deficits.

Monday evening, Obama called Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The call with Boehner lasted nearly 10 minutes. Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said Boehner told Obama that the health care law was costing jobs.

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DAGR81 wrote:
The wrench was thrown into this economy 5 years ago.
on September 30,2013 | 02:08PM
1local wrote:
obama cares about special interest groups - democrats and unions - obama care isn't good enough for Obama or his democrats - unions are just finding out its bad for their members - government workers will soon find out who is essential and who is not needed...
on September 30,2013 | 02:32PM
hanalei395 wrote:
The wrench is the Republican Party, who threw themselves into this economy.
on September 30,2013 | 04:37PM
AhiPoke wrote:
This is a president willing/wanting to negotiate with the Iranians and Syrians but he refuses to sit down with republicans in something this important?
on September 30,2013 | 02:38PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
It is called posturing or maybe stubbornness or maybe plain fright.
on September 30,2013 | 03:15PM
eoe wrote:
Negotiate on what? This is like trying to have a negotiation with a RG III's agent about a contract for RG III, and his agent keeps saying things like "well I think RGIII should get a 22 million four year contract because Bryce Harper's batting average is .274." That is literally the level of apples and oranges that we are now dealing with with the congressional republicans.
on September 30,2013 | 04:40PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
If the shutdown will throw a wrench into the economy well then keep the sign blinking OPEN, as we have a lot of our private businesses depending on those OPEN neon signs, so u do the same Barry. No brainer Barry lol.
on September 30,2013 | 03:14PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
By the way if the government shuts down, then can we keep our federal income taxes and our Social Security and Medicare taxes as well?
on September 30,2013 | 03:18PM
So it appears the government has already taxed your mind as it must be time for your medicine.
on September 30,2013 | 03:56PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
u back from the golf course yet?
on September 30,2013 | 06:26PM
keikamaui wrote:
Barack Obama is a disgrace to the nation and an embarrassment to the state of Hawaii. He can't lead congress or negotiate to bring people together. He's the worst president this country has ever elected. Shame on the elite liberal media for hiding the truth from us about this community organizer. He voted present most of the time and not yea or nay as a Senator. What leadership that entailed! He'll blame Bush and the republicans for his ineptitude and failures, and then go golfing or flying off to some campaign fundraiser. I never thought I would appreciate Bill Clinton for his years as president, but now I do!
on September 30,2013 | 04:00PM
MakaniKai wrote:
True. Clinton did know how to compromise. Barry just tooled around Chicago with a clip board – Community Organizing!
on September 30,2013 | 05:14PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Maybe that church deal meant something after all.
on September 30,2013 | 06:27PM
niimi wrote:
The Saints-Dolphins game is more important to me than some government shutdown. My business takes not a cent from the Federal business flow so this is a yawner. Let the government shutdown for a few months. Our governing bodies need a real reality check. And there is NOTHING BETTER THAN a cold turkey quittage of the addiction to spending other people's money.
on September 30,2013 | 04:25PM
eoe wrote:
Really? You take nothing from the government? You customers don't use roads funded by federal taxes? You don't employ workers educated by the taxes collected by the government? Your contracts are not protected by the government? Wow, you are a one-man army, congrats.
on September 30,2013 | 04:43PM
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