Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
Washington: Accusing the Republicans of holding the US government hostage by leading to its shutdown, US President Barack Obama urged them to “reopen the government” and warned that longer the shutdown stays more harm it will inflict.
"We know that the longer this shutdown continues, the worse the effects will be. More families will be hurt. More businesses will be harmed,” Obama said while speaking from the Rose Garden of White House.
Calling it a Republican shutdown, the President blamed the GOP of launching an “ideological crusade” against the new healthcare law championed by Obama.
The Democrats and Obama have said that the Republicans have caused the shutdown in order to raze the health care law, but they failed to accomplish their “stated goal”.
"They demanded ransom," Mr Obama said.
For the first time in 18 years, the US government began shutting down on Monday midnight as the Senate rejected a funding bill passed by the Republicans that demanded the Obamacare law to be delayed by a year and repeal of medical services tax.
“At midnight last night for the first time in 17 years, the Republicans in Congress chose to shut down the federal government. Let me be more specific: One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government shut down major parts of the government, all because they did not like one law, ” Obama said.
Obama was speaking after he met with people who had subscribed for the health care marketplace exchanges that came into effect on october one, the same day the government began shutting down.
Hailing his health care law, Obama said that the new law will enable uninsured Americans to buy health coverage at affordable prices.
However, the Obamacare law has been slammed by the Republicans as being a “massive and unnecessary government intrusion into medicine that will cause premiums to skyrocket and damage the economy”.
The shutdown saw over 8 lakh federal employees being furloughed.