Obama: Shutdown Is Result Of Ideological Crusade [VIDEO]
President Barack Obama says House Republicans have shut down the federal government over an "ideological crusade" against his health care law while the GOP plans to vote on bills that would re-open some parts of the government.
Obama is speaking in the Rose Garden on the first day of the government shutdown. He says the longer the shutdown continues, the worse the impact will be.
The president says Republicans should not be able to hold the entire economy "hostage." He is urging them to reopen the government quickly and allow furloughed federal employees to go back to work.
The government shut down because Congress did not pass a funding bill ahead of Monday's midnight deadline for the end of the 2013 fiscal year.
Earlier Tuesday, Obama sent federal workers a letter lamenting that they had become "punching bags" in Washington's partisan fiscal fights. About 800,000 federal workers are being forced off the job.
Obama says that if the shutdown continues, it will make it more difficult to recruit talented people for government jobs.
Reopening Some Parts Of Government
Republicans say the GOP-controlled House intends to pass legislation to reopen portions of the government, including national parks and processing of claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The House would also allow the government of Washington, D.C. to use its own taxpayer funds to provide services like garbage pickup, as well as keep D.C. employees on the job.
The closure of national parks is among the most visible effects of the partial government shutdown that hit the government after midnight on Monday. It would reopen gates and visitors centers at iconic parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone.
While VA hospitals remain open and veterans benefits continue to be paid, the legislation would allow claims processors to continue to work on the agency's lengthy backload of applications.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)