Last night I signed legislation to reopen our government and pay America’s bills. Because Democrats and responsible Republicans came together, the first government shutdown in 17 years is now over; the first default in more than 200 years will not happen. These twin threats to our economy have now been lifted, and I want to thank those Democrats and Republicans for getting together and ultimately getting this job done.
However, the president made it a point to mention all that the nation has lost in the 16 days that Democrats and Republicans battled it out at the expense of the American people.
“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’s slowed our growth.”
He then called on Congress to resist “pressure from the extremes” and “understand that how business is done in this town has to change” because the American people should not be used as pawns in a political game.
“That’s not a surprise that the American people are completely fed up with Washington. At a moment when our economic recovery demands more jobs, more momentum, we’ve got yet another self-inflicted crisis that set our economy back. And for what? There was no economic rationale for all of this,” Obama said.
“But probably nothing has done more damage to America’s credibility in the world, our standing with other countries, than the spectacle that we’ve seen these past several weeks. It’s encouraged our enemies, it’s emboldened our competitors, and it’s depressed our friends, who look to us for steady leadership.”
During the speech, where he also welcomed back federal workers and gave a heartfelt thank you for their unpaid service, the president also urged lawmakers to pursue a “balanced” long-term budget and pass comprehensive immigration reform and a new farm bill.
He ended by telling elected officials what’s most important in this nation — the American people.
“The American people’s hopes and dreams are what matters, not ours,” he said. “Our obligations are to them.”
PREACH! To read the rest of his speech, click here.
SOURCE: Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty