President Obama tore into House Republicans for demanding policy concessions for agreeing to fund the government and raise the nation’s debt ceiling during a speech at Rockville, MD on Thursday. He joked that if American workers made such demands to their bosses, they would lose their jobs.
Teeing off a quote from Rep. Martin Stutzman (R-IN), who claimed on Tuesday night that Republicans won’t be “disrespected” and must “get something” out of the shutdown, Obama told Republicans, “You have already gotten the opportunity to serve the American people….if you’re being disrespected it’s because of that attitude that you’ve got that you deserve to get something for doing your job!” He then wondered what would happen if every-day Americans adopted the GOP’s tactics:
Everybody here just does their job, right? You know, if you’re working here and in the middle of the day you just stopped and said, you know what? I want to get something, but I don’t know — I don’t know exactly what I’m going get, but — I’m just going to stop working until I get something– I’m going to shut down the whole plant until I get something. You’d get fired! Right?
Obama reiterated that he would not negotiate with Republicans over keeping the government running or raising the debt ceiling, and called on House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to bring a clean funding bill to the floor of the House for a vote. At least 20 Republicans have committed to voting for such a measure, meaning that Congress could have the necessary to pass it.
Replying to Stutzman’s question about what Republicans “get” for ending the three-day shutdown, Obama said, “What you get is our intelligence professionals being back on the job. What you get is our medical researchers back on the job. What you get are little kids back in the Head Start. What you get are our national parks and monuments open again. What you get is the economy not stalling, but continuing to grow. What you get are workers continuing to be hired. That’s what you get.”