WASHINGTON, DC In this weeks address, President Obama discussed his meetings with members of Congress of both parties and the ongoing effort to reopen the government and remove the danger of default from our economy. The President urged Congress to pass a budget, put people back to work, and end this shutdown. In his message, the President also called for paying our bills, and preventing an economic shutdown.
The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, October 12, 2013.
Remarks of President Barack Obama
The White House
October 12, 2013
Over the past few days, Ive met with Republicans and Democrats from both houses of Congress in an effort to reopen your government and remove the dangers of default from our economy.
Its a positive development that House Republicans have agreed on the need to avoid the economic consequences of not meeting our countrys commitments. Because once the debt ceiling is raised, and the shutdown is over, theres a lot we can accomplish together.
Weve created seven and a half million new jobs in the past three and a half years. Now lets create more. Weve cut our deficits in half over the past four years. Now lets do it in a smarter, balanced way that lets us afford to invest in the things we need to grow.
The truth is, theres a lot we can agree on. But one thing we have to agree on is that there is no good reason anyone should keep suffering through this shutdown. I met with some really innovative small business owners on Friday whove already lost contracts, lost customers, and put hiring on hold because the pain of this Republican shutdown has trickled down to their bottom lines. Its hurting the very citizens that our government exists to serve. Thats why a growing number of reasonable Republicans say it should end now.
And it wouldnt be wise, as some suggest, to just kick the debt ceiling can down the road for a couple months, and flirt with a first-ever intentional default right in the middle of the holiday shopping season. Because damage to Americas sterling credit rating wouldnt just cause global markets to go haywire; it would become more expensive for everyone in America to borrow money. Students paying for college. Newlyweds buying a home. It would amount to a new tax a Republican default tax on every family and business in America.
It doesnt have to be this way. Its not supposed to be this way. Manufacturing crises to extract massive concessions isnt how our democracy works, and we have to stop it. Politics is a battle of ideas, but you advance those ideas through elections and legislation not extortion.
I know youre frustrated by what you see in your nations capital right now. But because its easy to get lost in or give up on the political back-and-forth, I want you to remember: this is not normal. Our government is closed for the first time in 17 years. A political party is risking default for the first time since the 1700s. This is not normal. Thats why we have to put a stop to it. Not only because its dangerous, but because it saps everyones faith in our extraordinary system of self-government. And that hurts us all.
Whether its the work of creating jobs, growing the economy, or getting our fiscal house in order for the long haul, weve got a lot of work to do and constant brinksmanship doesnt let us do it.
It inflicts real pain on real people. It creates spasms of uncertainty for business owners. It threatens our nations credit and standing in the world. And the longer it goes on the more frequently this brinksmanship is inflicted the more well see markets react, businesses put off plans to spend and hire, and unemployment claims tick up. The hundreds of thousands of hardworking civil servants who go even longer without pay will worry that they wont be able to cover their bills, and that their own creditworthiness will be ruined for no good reason at all. And I want to thank all the neighbors and local business owners whove shown acts of kindness to these Americans who serve their country. I ask that same spirit of citizenship from lenders who do business with these folks. Because theyre being punished enough through no fault of their own.
So lets pass a budget, put people back to work, and end this Republican shutdown. Lets pay our bills, and prevent an economic shutdown. Then lets get back to the work of the American people. Because there is so much else we should be focusing our energies on right now. Weve got to create more jobs, and kids to educate, and an immigration system to fix. Weve got more troops to bring home, and a middle class to rebuild, and opportunity to restore. Theres so much America has going for it in this new century. And as always, this country works better when we work together.
Thank you, and have a great weekend.