President Barack Obama vowed his health care law would take effect no matter what Congress does Monday — even if they shut down much of the rest of the government.
“You can’t shut it down,” Obama said of Obamacare in a statement from the White House. He said that the House should pass the Senate’s clean spending bill, but in the meantime, starting tomorrow tens of millions of Americans will be able to purchase affordable health insurance.
He warned that a shutdown would throw a wrench into the economy just five years after the financial crisis, while sending hundreds of thousands of federal workers home without pay and sending hundreds of thousands of other federal workers to work without getting a paycheck.
That would hurt their families and the economy, the president said.
He said Congress should keep government open, never again threaten the full faith and credit of the government and then negotiate on the budget.
Obama lambasted tea party Republicans who have pushed vigorously to undermine the president’s signature legislative achievement, saying “one faction of one party” should not be allowed to “shut down the government just to fight the results of an election.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.