President Obama asked Republicans to end the government shutdown during a speech at the Rose Garden on Tuesday. The shutdown came at midnight when Congress failed to pass a continuing resolution to fund the federal government.
Obama urged Congress to reopen the government, explaining the longer the shutdown continues, the more damage there will be to the economy. He explained, "More families will be hurt."
The comments came after Obama met with supporters about the Affordable Care Act, the program at the heart of the shutdown.
The Democratic president blamed Republicans for the shutdown, saying some members of the GOP are waging an "ideological crusade" against the healthcare law. Obama added, "This, more than anything else, seems to be what the Republican Party stands for these days."
Most of the government closed down at midnight with nonessential offices posting notices on websites and gates to announce the shutdown.
President Obama's comments came as House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) blamed Senate Democrats for the shutdown, saying they are refusing to negotiate on two possible plans to end the government shutdown. Most Republicans support a plan that delays part of the health care plan by a year. A second plan would defund Obamacare completely.
Along with telling Republicans to end the shutdown, President Obama also used the speech to chide Republicans for keeping people uninsured. He explained, "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."
The US president also used his speech on Tuesday to talk about another expected standoff. The debt ceiling allows the government to borrow money to pay its current bills. Obama explained that failing to raise it would cause the government to default on its bills for the first time.
President Obama added that he would negotiate with Republicans about the debt ceiling. It is unclear if he would consider negotiating to end the government shutdown.