Obama keeps pressure on Congress in weekly address
September 21st, 2013
09:00 AM ET
10 months ago

Obama keeps pressure on Congress in weekly address

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Five years after the economic collapse, President Barack Obama warned Americans on Saturday that if Congress does not pass a budget to prevent the government from shutting down, the nation could be headed toward another fiscal calamity.

"After five years spent digging out of crisis, the last thing we need is for Washington to manufacture another," Obama said in his weekly address.


Calling passing a budget Congress's "most basic constitutional duty," President Obama painted GOP leaders in Congress as hostages to the far right of the Republican Party who would “plunge this country back into recession – all to deny the basic security of health care to millions of Americans.”

The Republican-controlled House voted 230 – 189 Friday to defund Obamacare.

The president criticized Republicans for being willing to risk reigniting the economic recession in the name of partisan politics.

"I will not allow anyone to harm this country’s reputation, or threaten to inflict economic pain on millions of our own people just to make an ideological point,” Obama said.

While reiterating that the economy is still making progress, Obama said the country is "running out of time" to both pass a budget and raise the debt ceiling. The latter move would allow the Treasury Department to "pay America’s bills" and avoid morphing into - in the president's words - "a deadbeat nation."

"We are the world's bedrock investment," Obama said. "And doing anything to threaten that is the height of irresponsibility.”

Watch the video of the president's address below:

Read the full text of President Obama's weekly address here.


Filed under: Budget • Congress • Debt • Economy • Health care • John Boehner • President Obama • Treasury Department
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. wendel

    not once in the last five years has the republican party spent as much time and effort as they have on Obama care. It would be nice if they used some of that energy to come up with bills to help the unemployed , Like working on to improve our roads and bridges. Instead they waste the publics time and money on this stupid quest to get rid of Obama care. . The affordable care act has helped me and many I know.

    September 21, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  2. Dixie

    Obama doesn't want our rights taken away? Really? Then he should step down. He is the one that doesn't listen. We don't want his health care act, his financial plan or his weakness. He is the worsed prez in history. LOOK AT THE POLES.

    September 21, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  3. don in albuquerque

    Lets see, so far this week..........Republicans voted in the house to cut spending on food stamps, since probably most of that will effect children they have in effect declared war on children......they want people on food stamps to have jobs but whine there are no jobs which they swore to create, now they would shut down the govt and leave those on SSI to starve. and soldiers left without paychecks in unneeded wars of their own design........Hmmmm, sound like a party that cares about the American people to you? I am far from a religious person but find its concepts interesting to debate, but the one concept that they very clearly demonstrate that they adhere too is that of the AntiChrist. But then I guess that would be the old style Christ, they have given us the new improved version who revels in war, letting the sick die, and letting the poor starve. Nice guys.

    September 21, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  4. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    I bleed republican red blood. But this move is just plain wrong. We are playing into Obama's hands. I love the tea party. i love that they have guts and are unafraid to confront President. but to shut the goverment down is one step to far. 2014 the poor,white,black and latino liberal will show up heavy in the midterms and we will loose the house. then Obama,will even more power like he did before,thats how we got this dumb health law in the 1st place!

    September 21, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  5. tashon

    We will regret this!

    September 21, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  6. the hippies were right

    We screwed up in Nov. 2010. Prepare to vote these GOP crooks out or we all will suffer the consequences again!

    September 21, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. kirk

    Well the rich came out ahead last time, why would they not want another recession?

    September 21, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. kirk

    If the banks were to big to fail before, guess what, because our crooked politicians wouldn't pass the Dodd frank bill without gutting it first, they are much bigger than they were before, which means SN even bigger bailout for the rich, andthe little guy pays for it again . Just one more piece of evidence the gop wants to destroy the middle class and make you all slaves to the rich.they obviously don't think that's a bad thing because that's what they are

    September 21, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. HenryMiller

    If "passing a budget Congress's "most basic constitutional duty,"" I guess the Senate Democrats have been remiss in their duties for years by not passing the budgets sent to them by the House.

    Regarding shutdown, yeah, the sky is going to fall unless Democrats keep getting to waste other peoples' money. We've heard it all before.

    September 21, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. Patricia HERMANN

    Than you President Obama for your easy and understandable explanation. We need to keep on keeping on with this kind of communication. Hopefully the American people will listen. I am a small business owner and can pay for my coverage , but was not always the case. I wonder how many of these guys trying to take our country hostage have ever had a sick baby and no health coverage?

    September 21, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. Evergreen

    In 2012 the GOP were talking about reforming the tax code. A reformed tax code may just be the key to fixing this mess.

    September 21, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  12. Tampa Tim

    At the risk of hurting @tom l's feelings, the right wingnuts almost destroyed the country under W, and are trying desperately to finish off the job. It seems the the role models for the GOP are now Putin, Assad, Cruz and al Qaida.

    September 21, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  13. jpmichigan

    Five years with your leadership/lack of , there is a crisis every year. The major problem Mr. President you and your Democratic friends do not/want to listen to the American people. Much health care reform WAS need, but we did not need your Obama care, especially in the mist of an reccession. The Republican listen to the American people , therefore this why they passed the bill you are crying about. The Democrats passed a healthcare bill, without reading it, you sign it, then you begin to change the Law/Tax allowing Congress to opt out along with others. Please Congress is to change laws passed not the President, but then you do what ever you want, except to lead and govern and listen to the needs/wants of the American people. Your inactions and that of your party will suffer in 2014 elections.

    September 21, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Congress with its 11% approval and the GOP fools and teaparty trolls will be replaced in 2014 midterms. Why vote for a GOP that hasn't done anything in five years except hold 40 repeal obamacare votes that failed just to protect their insurance company cronies and take away your healthcare!!!!!

    September 21, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. justanaverageguy

    So the president says he won't negotiate over the debt ceiling. Given that the tea party has taken the party leaders hostage, that it would be the height of irresponsibility for him not to be ready and willing to invoke the 14th amendment to unilatetally raise the debt ceiling. If he has, as in 2011, no plans to do this as a last resort, then he is either willing to be the future of the country on the t party caving, or in fact be willing to negotiate over "the full faith and credit of the U.S., and accepting concessions in so doing.

    Nobody knows how this will ultamately unfold, but personally, I don't a single word coming out of the presidents mouth or from anybody else in either party.

    September 21, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. don in albuquerque

    @dixie-And which Poles would you have us look at? North or South, and of this planet or another?

    September 21, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Robertson

    This President's signature healthcare law is hugely unpopular as his demand that we raise the debt ceiling (again) because of HIS out of control spending. Yet, he still has the nerve to lay blame on someone else. If this President had to swallow his own ego, he would probably choke.

    September 21, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. Tampa Tim

    Look at the Poles, why not the Serbs, the Croats, the Scandinavians, and the Slavs? Time to listen to the American people and not the lap dogs of the billionaires. Republicans are wrong on every issue.

    September 21, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. Tampa Tim

    The right wingnuts say ACA is hugely unpopular, and 24% of Americans agree with them.

    September 21, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  20. Name Uche Agonsi

    The Repubs started rehearsing their disaster playbook as soon as Obama became the POTUS in increasing tempo. They have all the time wanted disaster for America. Obama should give them the disaster. Afterall is their game. For Obama to stop now means a bigger disaster from them another day. So let the disaster they seek come to them in full.

    September 21, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  21. Tampa Tim

    While we will be paying for Bush's mess for generations, we should blame him. After all he was selected by the Supreme Court.

    September 21, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. Cephus

    This congress and the supreme court is no different from the Roman empire before it collapsed in fact its like history repeating itself.

    September 21, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. Sonkarlay

    I guess those poll they always show is from the South of this country because MA already have Obama Care for years and it's working so where they keep coming with their from

    September 21, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. scott

    Robertson – did you miss the Bush years, where we got most of our debt. Those wars and tax cuts are the cause of our debt.

    This law passed the ways laws suppose to pass. If you want it repealed get a president who will sign the bill in office. Obama had the ACA as his platform and won the election. Now you want to break our democratic process because you don't like it. If it is a bad law the people will vote to have it repealed. Right now the people want to try it out.

    September 21, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. Woman In California

    After what happened the last time, I am more than prepared to watch the republicans do much worse this time around and I am also prepared to watch them swing from the same gallows they've spent five years building for OUR president. Make no mistake about it, the American people have had enough of this nonsense and we'll hold everyone of them accountable this time around, starting with the drunk who bangs the gavel.

    September 21, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
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