President Barack Obama scolded congressional Republicans on Thursday morning for shutting down the government and flirting with default, while hoping that the end to the episode would lead to budget, immigration and farm bills by the end of the year.
“It’s encouraged our enemies, it’s emboldened our competitors, and it’s depressed our friends,” Obama said of the shutdown and default threat.
As for the politics of the shutdown, he said, “There are no winners here. These last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy. We don’t know yet the full scope of the damage, but every analyst out there believes it slowed our growth.”
The president urged Congress to stop listening to the lobbyists and the “bloggers” and professional activists who he said profit off conflict and instead to work with him to get things done that they can all agree on.
He said it was time for Congress to finally craft a “balanced” budget deal (with new revenue alongside entitlement trims), send an immigration overhaul to his desk and complete a farm bill now in a conference committee.
“We could get them done by the end of the year. ... And that’s just the big stuff,” Obama said of his top three priorities.
Obama, meanwhile, had some advice to the Republicans if they don’t like him and want to pass their agenda instead: “Go out there and win an election.”