CAPITOL HIILL — U.S. President President Barack Obama said on Monday he is not resigned to a U.S. government shutdown taking place with a midnight deadline looming and said he would talk to congressional leaders later.
During an Oval Office appearance with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama said he supported a Senate bill that would allow for a short-term funding of the government without cutting funding from his signature healthcare law, which Republicans are seeking to gut.
Obama said all involved must sit down in good faith without a threat of a debt default because the U.S. dollar is the reserve currency of the world and “we don’t mess with that.”
The president made the remarks Monday afternoon just ahead of a vote by the Senate on the current spending bill, likely to be rejected. The bill, passed early Sunday by the House of Representatives, ties funding the government to delaying Obama’s signature health care law.
But If no deal is struck by day’s end, large parts of the federal government will be shut down and 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed.
Democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has made clear that the Senate will not pass any measure to extend federal funding that is linked to measures pushed by Republicans to derail the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. It is expected the Senate will send a “clean” spending bill back to the House later Monday.
Speaking on the House floor Monday morning, House Speaker John Boehner called for the Senate to do what the House wants. see more