President Obama on Friday pushed Republicans to pass a spending bill and warned that he would not give in to their demands to defund Obamacare as Washington careened closer to a shutdown.
“If Congress chooses not to pass a budget by Monday, they will shut down the government,” Obama told reporters at a hastily-arranged press conference from the White House briefing room.
Obama said blame for a shutdown would rest solely on Republicans whom he accused of undermining the recovery because they “can’t get their way.”
The White House and Congress are facing an Oct. 1 deadline to keep the government funded and have achieved scant progress on a compromise thus far. In addition to the government-shutdown fight, leaders are up against an Oct. 17 deadline to increase the nation's borrowing limit.
Conservatives are using the fiscal fights to try to block Obama’s healthcare reform law. Last week the House GOP passed a short-term spending bill that defunded Obamacare.
The Democratic-led Senate on Friday sent a bill back to the House that funds the government until Nov. 15 and keeps funding for the health care law.
Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, earlier this week said that he did not believe there was any chance a “clean” spending bill would pass the House.
The president endorsed the Senate bill Friday and said he wouldn’t let the GOP gut his signature domestic achievement.
“That’s not going to happen,” the president said about GOP efforts to defund Obamacare in a spending bill.
Obama has taken an increasingly aggressive stance with Republicans in recent days, refusing to negotiate around raising the nation’s borrowing limit and vowing to veto any spending bill that cuts Obamacare funds.
An Obama senior adviser even compared Republicans to suicide bombers in a nationally televised interview.
The president toughened his tone on Friday.
“Do not threaten to burn the house down,” Obama warned Republicans, “simply because you haven’t gotten 100 percent of your way.”
Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said the public opposed Obamacare and that the House is committed to passing a spending bill.
“The House will take action that reflects the fundamental fact that Americans don’t want a government shutdown and they don’t want the train wreck that is Obamacare," he said in a statement.
"Grandstanding from the president, who refuses to even be a part of the process, won’t bring Congress any closer to a resolution,” said Buck.