Congress may have passed a budget deal after weeks of political gridlock, but President Obama insists: “There are no winners here.”
The commander in chief called the past few weeks “a spectacle,” insisting the government shutdown has done “unnecessary damage” to our country.
“It’s encouraged our enemies, it’s emboldened our competitors, and it’s depressed our friends who look to us for steady leadership,” said Obama. He insisted, that while the country doesn’t know the full extent of the effects shutdown and coming close to defaulting, the U.S. would “bounce back from this. We always do.”
Standard & Poor’s estimates that the 16-day shutdown has cost the economy $24 billion.
Obama’s remarks come after lawmakers reached an 11th hour deal on Wednesday to extend the nation’s borrowing authority until February and to fund government agencies until mid-January—ending the shutdown.
The bill passed after Republicans dropped the party’s efforts to link any spending deal to changes with President Obama’s health care law, leaving the GOP with little to show after weeks brinkmanship. But the deal is largely a temporary fix, as it only funds the government until Jan. 15 and raises the debt ceiling until Feb. 7. Chances are Americans could see a similar showdown early next year or during negotiations in the weeks to come.
Obama, who stood his ground in refusing to hand the GOP any concessions, said there were three actions the United States could take immediately that would “make a huge difference in our economy right now.” He called for a balanced approach to a responsible budget, passing comprehensive immigration reform, and greenlighting a stalled farm bill. The president insisted all three could get done by the end of the year.
The president also took a jab at congressional Republicans who have tried to defund or delay Obamacare, legislation that is gaining support among Americans.
“You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there, win an election,” he said. “Push to change it. But don’t break it.”