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Obama Says Failure to Raise Debt Ceiling Would Roil Economy

U.S. President Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to members of the media in the briefing room of the White House on Sept. 27, 2013. Photographer: Brendan Smialowski /AFP via Getty Images

President Barack Obama said that Congress’s failure to approve funding to keep the government open and an increase in the debt ceiling would have a destabilizing effect on the economy.

“This grandstanding has real effects on real people,” the Democratic president said in a televised statement at the White House. “Even the threat of a shutdown already is probably having a dampening effect on our economy.”

Earlier today the Senate passed a temporary funding bill on a 54-44 vote and sent it to the House as lawmakers worked against a deadline to avert a damaging government shutdown on Oct. 1, the start of a new fiscal year.

The Senate, controlled by Democrats, approved funding through Nov. 15 without the provision in the legislation passed by the Republican-controlled House that would have deleted funds to carry out Obama’s signature health-care law.

House leaders were still insisting that any short-term spending bill include limits on the health-care law’s reach, a demand House Democrats and Obama won’t accept.

The standoff will push the House into session over the weekend as leaders try to reach a deal to avoid a shutdown that would furlough most federal workers after 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 30.

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