Obama: Republicans `Holding the Whole Country Hostage'

CLAYCOMO, Mo. (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the United States isn't "some banana republic" or a "deadbeat nation." He told workers at a Missouri auto plant, "We don't run out on our tab."

Obama says instead of focusing on defunding his health care law, Republicans should pass a spending plan and raise the nation's borrowing limit to avoid a first-ever default on the nation's debt. He says they're "holding the whole country hostage."

Funding for the government is set to run out at the end of September, and the government will reach the limits of its borrowing authority a few weeks later. And Obama is locked in a stalemate with lawmakers, with less than two weeks until the start of the new budget year.

The Republican-led House today passed a bill that would keep the government running -- but it's attached to a provision that would gut funding for Obama's health care law. That provision is certain to die in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and Obama says he will veto the spending measure if that doesn't happen.

After today's House vote, Speaker John Boehner said the message for the Senate is that Americans don't want a government shutdown, and that they don't want the health care overhaul.

But Obama today accused Republicans of threatening to "blow the whole thing up" because they couldn't get their way on health care.


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