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Obama Says Republicans ‘Trying to Mess With Me’ in Budget Fight

Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said congressional Republicans risk creating “profoundly destructive” consequences for the U.S. by holding the nation’s debt ceiling hostage to the fight over his health-care law.

Facing a showdown with congressional Republicans over funding government operations and raising the federal debt ceiling, Obama said his opponents are “not focused on you, they’re focused on politics, they’re focused on trying to mess with me.”

The president was making his case before workers at a Ford Motor Co. plant in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, a few hours after the Republican-controlled House voted to finance the federal government through Dec. 15 and choke off funding for Obama’s signature health-care law.

He said a “faction on the far right of the Republican Party” is willing to put the U.S. economy at risk to score political points by trying to kill his signature health-care law as the price for funding the government in the new fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 and raising the debt ceiling to let the government pay its bills.

He likened the Republican stance on the debt ceiling to someone buying one of the trucks produced by Ford at the plant and deciding not to make loan payments to save money. “You can’t say you’re saving money just by not paying the bills,” he said.

He said the Affordable Care Act has been the law for more than three years and he won re-election over an opponent who vowed to repeal it.

“The voters were pretty clear on this,” Obama said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Roger Runningen in Kansas City, at rrunningen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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