Republicans linked defunding or delaying Obamacare to a continuing resolution to fund the government, a demand that led to a government shutdown and now threatens default on the nation's debt. Reid gave a counterexample to illustrate why he would not negotiate a deal to increase the country's borrowing authority that involves making such policy concessions.
"Let's assume that in the future, Obama's no longer president, there's a Republican president. And we Democrats say, 'We're not going to raise the debt ceiling unless you pass background checks. Eighty-five percent of the American people support that, and we are not going to raise the debt ceiling until you pass it,'" he said. "We cannot leave the full faith and credit of the United States subject to a fight over whatever the issue of the day may be. That has never, ever, in the history of the country been done before. This is the first time."