President Barack Obama on Thursday said Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was too afraid of the tea party to allow a vote to fund and re-open the government, now shuttered for the third straight day.
“There are enough Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives today that if the Speaker of the House John Boehner simply let the bill get on the floor for an up or down vote, every congressman could vote their conscience,” Obama said at an event highlighting negative effects of the shutdown in Rockville, Maryland. “The shut down would end today the only thing that is keeping the government shut down.”
“The only thing preventing people getting back to work and farmers and small business from getting their loans and the only thing that’s preventing this from happening right now in the next five minutes is that Speaker John Boehner won’t even let the bill get a yes or no vote because he doesn’t want to anger the extremists in his party. That’s all.”
Obama further called the impasse a “reckless and damaging Republican shutdown,” urging Congress to take a vote on a “clean” continuing resolution to fund the government — a measure free of any language defunding or delaying his signature health law.
“Take a vote, stop this farce, and end this shutdown right now!” he shouted.
The president also mocked Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) for saying Wednesday that his party has “to get something out of” the shutdown fight, even though he doesn’t “know what that even is.”
“You have already gotten the opportunity to serve the American people. There’s no higher honor than that,” Obama said to applause. “You’ve already gotten the opportunity to help businesses like this one. Workers like these. So the American people aren’t in the mood to give you a goody bag to go with it. What you get is our intelligence professionals being back on the job. What you get is our medical researchers back on the job. What you get are little kids back in the head start.”