Obama: House Republicans wasted 'precious days' with Boehner plan

President Obama used his his weekly address to call out House Republicans for holding up the process of getting "our fiscal house in order."

"Republicans in the House of Representatives just spent precious days trying to pass a plan that a majority of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate had already said they wouldn’t vote for," Obama said in the Saturday morning message.

Late Friday, the House narrowly passed legislation authorizing a limited increase in the $14.3 trillion debt limit in exchange for more than $900 billion in spending cuts. The plan introduced by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was quickly halted by the Senate.

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"I have to say, Democrats in Congress and some Senate Republicans have been listening and have shown themselves willing to make compromises to solve this crisis," Obama said.  

"Now all of us — including Republicans in the House of Representatives — need to demonstrate the same kind of responsibility that the American people show every day," Obama added. "The time for putting party first is over. The time for compromise on behalf of the American people is now."

The president warned that a failure to pass a budget deal before Tuesday could result in the U.S. losing its Triple A credit rating, which would result in higher interest rates on mortgages, car loans and credit cards.


"That would be inexcusable, and entirely self-inflicted by Washington," the president said. "The power to solve this is in our hands. All that's needed is a simple vote that Democrats and Republicans have taken for decades."

Obama said the two parties are "not that far apart" on a final deal. He said a rough agreement has been reached on how much spending to cut and on a process to tackle tax and entitlement reform. But he emphasized that raising the debt ceiling is an issue of the nation being able to pay its existing bills, not new spending.

Raising the debt ceiling "gives the United States of America the ability to keep its word," Obama said. "And it will let businesses and our economy breathe a sigh of relief."

The president argued the House GOP plan would force the government to re-live the same tense situation in a few short months and said any solution to avoid default must be bipartisan so it can pass both chambers of Congress.