Yesterday, President Obama gave a speech in the Rose Garden regarding the government shutdown. As you know, I stand with Obama on this issue. I have his back. I commend him for standing up to the Tea Party. Here are a few excerpts from his speech.
Good morning, everybody. At midnight last night, for the first time in 17 years 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 didn't like one law.For the full transcript, read the Washington Post. If you have questions about the Affordable Care Act, call 1-800-318-2596 or visit healthcare.gov.
This Republican shut down did not have to happen, but I want every American to understand why it did happen. Republicans in the House of Representatives refused to fund the government unless we defunded or dismantled the Affordable Care Act.
They've shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. In other words, they demanded ransom just for doing their job...
But we do know a couple of things. We know that the last time Republicans shut down the government in 1996, it hurt our economy. And unlike 1996, our economy's still recovering from the worst recession in generations...
As I've said repeatedly, I am prepared with Democrats and Republicans to do the things we need to do: to grow the economy and create jobs and get our fiscal house in order over the long run, although I should add this shutdown isn't about deficits or spending or budgets. After all, our deficits are falling at the fastest pace in 50 years. We've cut them in half since I took office. In fact, many of the demands the Republicans are now making would actually raise our deficits.
No, this shutdown is not about deficits. It's not about budgets. This shutdown is about rolling back our efforts to provide health insurance to folks who don't have it. It's all about rolling back the Affordable Care Act.
This, more than anything else, seems to be what the Republican Party stands for these days. I know it's strange that one party would make keeping people uninsured the centerpiece of their agenda, but that apparently is what it is...
And today we begin to free millions of our fellow Americans from that fear. Already millions of young adults have been able to stay on their parents' plans until they turn 26. Millions of seniors already have gotten a discount on their prescription medicines. Already millions of families have actually received rebates from insurance companies that didn't spend enough on their health care. This law means more choice, more competition, lower costs for millions of Americans.
And this law doesn't just mean economic security for our families; it means we're finally addressing the biggest drivers of our long-term deficits. It means a stronger economy. Remember, most Republicans have made a whole bunch of predictions about this law that haven't come through. There are no death panels. Costs haven't skyrocketed; they're growing at the slowest rate in 50 years. The last three years since I signed the Affordable Care Act into law are the three slowest rates of health spending growth on record. And contrary to Republican claims, this law hasn't destroying our economy.