ROCKVILLE, Maryland | Thu Oct 3, 2013
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama blamed congressional Republicans for the government shutdown on Thursday, saying the budget stalemate is caused by their “obsession” with hobbling his healthcare plan and the sway of Tea Party-backed conservatives over party leaders.
“This whole thing is about one thing, the Republican obsession with the Affordable Care Act. That seems to be the only thing that unites the Republican Party right now,” he said.
Obama called for a straight up-or-down vote to reopen government but said House of Representatives Republican leaders are intimidated by the most conservative members of their caucus.
(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Vicki Allen)