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U.S. shutdown enters 2nd day; Obama slams Republicans

October 02, 2013 12:24 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 09:02 pm IST - Washington

People stand in front of the closed Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Tuesday.The museums that draw millions of visitors closed their doors due to the first government shutdown in 17 years.

People stand in front of the closed Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Tuesday.The museums that draw millions of visitors closed their doors due to the first government shutdown in 17 years.

With both Democrats and Republicans sticking to their stands on a new budget pushing the shutdown into the second day on Wednesday, President Barack Obama has blamed a “reckless” opposition for the latest financial crisis that has forced up to one million workers off the job.

The two parties failed to strike a deal before the October 1 deadline on spending and budget due to differences over ‘Obamacare’, the signature healthcare programme of President Obama.

Mr. Obama lambasted the Republicans for being “reckless” in their apparent willingness to take down the government in order to take down the law overhauling major aspects of health care coverage. He championed the law, signed it in 2010, and then saw it upheld by the Supreme Court last year.

“We know that the longer this shutdown continues, the worse the effects will be. More families will be hurt. More businesses will be harmed. So once again,” he said on Tuesday on the first day of the shutdown, the first time in nearly 18 years.

Mr. Obama urged the Congress to pass the budget and end the shutdown. “Pay your bills, prevent an economic shutdown. Don’t wait, don’t delay, don’t put our economy or our people through this any longer,” he said.

“I will not negotiate over Congress’ responsibility to pay bills it’s already racked up. I’m not going to allow anybody to drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud just to refight a settled election or extract ideological demands. Nobody gets to hurt our economy and millions of hardworking families over a law you don’t like.”

About 800,000 federal workers in the US were told to stay at home while national parks, museums, government buildings and services shutdown as a result of the deadlock.

Meanwhile, the White House said the Congress ought to open the government, return people to work, and “without drama and delay fulfill its responsibility” to make sure the United States pays its bills.

But the Republican Party leaders, were not willing to make any changes in their approach, as a result of which the Congress has not been able to pass the budget.

Accusing the Republicans of indulging in blackmailing tactics on the affordable healthcare laws, which came into effect on Tuesday, the White House threatened to veto any piecemeal bill funding only parts of the federal government.

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