UPDATE 1-US economy cannot afford a government shutdown-Obama

Tue Apr 5, 2011 2:41pm EDT

(Adds more Obama remarks, background)

WASHINGTON, April 5 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday warned that the U.S. economy could not afford the disruption that a government shutdown could inflict, but saw no reason a deal on the budget could not be struck.

"It would be inexcusable of us to not be able to take care of last year's business ... when we are this close, simply because of politics," he said during a surprise appearance at a White House daily briefing after meeting with Republican and Democratic leaders to discuss the fiscal 2011 budget.

That meeting did not yield an agreement over what federal spending to cut, bringing closer a government shutdown on Friday, when a stopgap measure to fund the government expires, if neither side yields.

Obama said the "last thing" the U.S. economy needed as it recovers from a severe recession was to suffer the disruption that a shutdown would cause.

Obama, a Democrat, said Republican Speaker of the House of Representative John Boehner and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid would meet again on Tuesday to continue discussions, and he would ask everyone back to the White House on Wednesday if there was still no deal.

"We are prepared to meet for as long as possible to get this resolved," the president said, adding that he was ready to negotiate over the composition of the cuts. "What we can't do is have a 'my way or the highway' approach to this problem."

(Reporting by Alister Bull; Editing by Sandra Maler)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (7)
FrankO wrote:
We can’t afford your bad policies any longer Mr. President.

Cue the fake excuses about letting old people die.

Sickening display of “leadership”.

Apr 05, 2011 3:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
affableman wrote:
No kidding the economy can’t afford a shutdown but the Republicans don’t care about the economy or the country, they only care about power and what’s in it for them.

Apr 05, 2011 3:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Moby wrote:
So this is what we elcted our representatives and our president for – political brinksmanship. It reminds me of two teenagers speeding toward each other at top speed hoping the other will veer off first.

It is clear that Mr. Obama would much prefer to have enormous deficits and literally bankrupt the US than to compromise on HIS spending spree.

It is shameful. It is ridiculous. It is out with Obama, as soon as possible.

Apr 05, 2011 4:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.