President Obama on Saturday called on Republican lawmakers to “stop this farce” and vote on a funding bill to re-open government.
“Take that vote. Stop this farce. End this shutdown now,” said Obama in his weekly address.
Obama's comments came as Washington entered its fifth day of a federal government shutdown after Congress was unable to pass a funding bill by an Oct. 1 deadline.
House Republicans sought to tie the continuing resolution to efforts to defund or delay Obamacare, which were rejected by the Democratic-controlled Senate.
President Obama has said he will not negotiate over the continuing resolution or the nation's debt limit. Congress must raise the borrowing limit by Oct. 17 to prevent a default.
Obama said he had received letters from Americans affected by the shutdown and shared some of their stories.
“I’ve talked a lot about the real-world consequences of this shutdown in recent days – the services disrupted; the benefits delayed; the public servants kicked off the job without pay,” said the president. “But today, I want to let the Americans dealing with those real-world consequences have their say. And these are just a few of the many heartbreaking letters I’ve gotten from them in the past couple weeks – including more than 30,000 over the past few days.”
Obama cited a letter from Kelly Mumper, who was concerned about the suspension of Head Start programs, and a note from Julia Pruden, a mother from North Dakota whose loan application to buy a home was on hold.
“These are our fellow Americans. These are the people who sent us here to serve. And I know that Republicans in the House of Representatives are hearing the same kinds of stories, too,” said Obama.
“Pass a budget. End this government shutdown,” the president added. “Pay our bills. Prevent an economic shutdown.”
“These Americans and millions of others are counting on Congress to do the right thing. And I will do everything I can to make sure they do,” said Obama.