Obama: US will be 'banana republic' if GOP forces default

President Obama said Republicans in Congress were threatening to make the United States into "a deadbeat" and a "banana republic" with their maneuvers to tie the federal budget and the debt ceiling to defunding ObamaCare.


Speaking at a Ford truck plant outside of Kansas City, Mo., the president chided Republican leaders for their vote earlier Friday on legislation that would keep the government funded into December, while stripping funding for the Affordable Care Act.

"You don't have to threaten to blow the whole thing up just because you don't get your way," Obama said. "Nobody gets 100 percent of what they want."

Telegraphing his intention to veto any spending bill that delayed or defunded his signature health care law, Obama accused Republicans of lacking "the same common sense" and willingness to compromise that ordinary Americans showed in their marriages and family finances.  

He said the debate in Congress was "not meeting the test of helping middle class families" and accused a "faction on the far right of the Republican party" of impeding compromise.

"They're not focused on you," Obama said. "They're focused on politics; they're focused on trying to mess with me; they're not focused on you."

The president's remarks came just hours after the 230-198 party-line vote in the House approving legislation that would condition keeping the government open on defunding the president's health care plan.

The continuing resolution will now move to the Senate, where language defunding the president's signature healthcare law is expected to be stripped from the bill.

The legislation will then return to the House, setting up another contentious vote necessary to avert a possible government shutdown on Oct. 1. Leaders have already canceled a planned recess next week in anticipation of a tough legislative fight.

Obama said that if lawmakers were unable to reach a deal, services "the American people rely on" would become unavailable. He warned of the economic impact of federal workers missing paychecks and not being able to come to work.

The president also called on Congress to extend the debt ceiling, which is expected to be reached in the coming weeks. Obama said failing to do so could be "profoundly destructive."

"This is the United States of America. This is not some banana republic. This is not a deadbeat nation. We don't run out on our tab," Obama said.

"Even threatening that is the height of irresponsibility."