Obama: Shutdown Encouraged U.S. Foes, Depressed Friends
Washington (AFP) – U.S. President Barack Obama warned Thursday that America’s political dysfunction had encouraged its enemies and depressed its friends, and said the crisis had left “no winners” in Washington.
Obama called on warring politicians to come together to pass a long term budget and to give up the “brinksmanship” that threatens the economy and squandered the trust of the American people.
The president spoke less than 11 hours after signing legislation that ended a 16-day government shutdown and a showdown over raising his government’s borrowing authority.
The bill brought a temporary end to a stand-off that had threatened to pitch the U.S. economy into a historic default.
Obama urged Congress, specifically Republicans in the House of Representatives, to now come together to pass stalled legislation on agriculture and on reforming America’s immigration system.
“There’s been a lot of discussion lately of the politics of this shutdown,” Obama told an audience of returned executive branch workers in the State Dining Room of the White House.
“Let’s be clear. There are no winners here. These last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy,” Obama said.
“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,” Obama said.
“It’s encouraged our enemies, it’s emboldened our competitors and depressed our friends who look to us for steady leadership.”
AFP Photo/Saul Loeb
This post will be updated.