President Barack Obama in a roundtable discussion with business leaders Wednesday accused Republicans of engaging in “extortion” when it comes to fighting over raising the nation’s debt limit.
President Barack Obama addresses members of the Business Roundtable, Sept. 18, 2013 at the Business Roundtable Headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images)
The president’s remarks came in reference to Republican threats to delay the implementation of his health care law if Democrats seek an increase in the debt ceiling.
“You have never seen in the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not raising the debt ceiling being used to extort a president or a — a governing party,” the president told the gathering of CEOs.
Obama said that never before has any party entered into an argument over the federal budget the way House Republicans have.
“What we now have is a ideological fight that’s been mounted in the House of Representatives that says, we’re not going to pass a budget and we will threaten a government shutdown unless we repeal the Affordable Care Act,” he said.
“We have not seen this in the past, that a budget is contingent on us eliminating a program that was voted on, passed by both chambers of Congress, ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court, is two weeks from being fully implemented and that helps 30 million people finally get health care coverage — we’ve never seen that become the issue around a budget battle,” he added.
The president concluded by urging business leaders to encourage House Republicans to change their minds.
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