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Obama Warns of Shutdown's Impact, Says Health Care Law Won't Be Stopped

WI Web Staff | 9/30/2013, 5:10 p.m. | Updated on 9/30/2013, 9:50 p.m.
With a federal government shutdown seemingly imminent, President Obama warned Monday of the drastic impact on the economy if a ...
President Obama speaks during a press conference at the White House on Sept. 30.

With a federal government shutdown seemingly imminent, President Obama warned Monday of the drastic impact on the economy if a deal isn't struck, but promised his health care law set to go into effect Tuesday would proceed despite House Republicans' attempt to "extract a ransom" and defund the law.

"Let me be clear about this: An important part of the Affordable Care Act takes effect [Tuesday] no matter what Congress decides to do today," Obama said during a press conference at the White House after the Democrat-controlled Senate on Monday afternoon shot down a House spending bill proposal, which sought to delay or significantly alter the Affordable Care Act, Obama's health care law that was passed in 2010.

"The Affordable Care Act is moving forward," Obama said. "That funding is already in place. You can’t shut it down. This is a law that passed both houses of Congress, a law that bears my signature, a law that the Supreme Court upheld as constitutional, a law that voters chose not to repeal last November."

The GOP passed another spending proposal through the House on Monday night, only to have it rejected shortly thereafter by the Senate as well.

The Republican-controlled House now must construct a stopgap spending bill that has to be passed by the Senate by 12:01 a.m. Tuesday to avoid a shutdown of the federal government. The Senate has steadfastly refused any bill that includes any changes or delays of the health care law, and the House has resisted crafting any legislation without changes or delays for the law, creating a standoff that shows little signs of ending.

Obama on Monday detailed the grim scenario if a deal isn't reached, hours before the government is scheduled to shut down.

"Office buildings would close. Paychecks would be delayed," he said. "Vital services that seniors and veterans, women and children, businesses and our economy depend on would be hamstrung. Business owners would see delays in raising capital, seeking infrastructure permits, or rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy. Veterans who’ve sacrificed for their country will find their support centers unstaffed. Tourists will find every one of America’s national parks and monuments, from Yosemite to the Smithsonian to the Statue of Liberty, immediately closed. And of course, the communities and small businesses that rely on these national treasures for their livelihoods will be out of customers and out of luck. ...

"Unfortunately, right now House Republicans continue to tie funding of the government to ideological demands like limiting a woman’s access to contraception, or delaying the Affordable Care Act, all to save face after making some impossible promises to the extreme right wing of their party," he said.