President Barack Obama says that if Congress needs some help remembering how to pass a budget then lawmakers may want to review a 1970s-era educational cartoon called “Schoolhouse Rock!”
In an interview with CNN that aired on Friday, host Chris Cuomo asked the president if he believed Congress would get to work and pass a budget after its five-week recess or if the government would have another shutdown “which effectively punishes everybody else, except the lawmakers.”
“There is a very simple way of doing this, which is the Senate passed a budget and the House passed a budget,” the president explained. “And, you know, maybe you’re not old enough to remember ‘Schoolhouse Rock,’ but…”
“Oh, I remember it,” Cuomo insisted.
“You remember how the bill gets passed?” Obama continued. “You know, the — you know, the House and the Senate try to work out their differences. They pass something. They send it to me, and potentially I sign it.”
“And, you know, we like to make things complicated, but this is actually not that complicated. The job of Congress — Congress doesn’t have a whole lot of core responsibilities. One core responsibility is passing a budget, which they have not done yet. The other core responsibility that they’ve got is to pay the bills that they’ve already accrued.”
Some Republicans in Congress have suggested in recent weeks that they would be willing to shut down the federal government in order defund the Affordable Care Act or as negotiating tactic to force Obama to repeal his signature health care reform law.
In his remarks to CNN, the president was referring to what may be the most well-known “Schoolhouse Rock” episode, “I’m Just A Bill.” The 1975 animated piece traces a cartoon bill’s journey through Congress as it becomes a law.
“I’m just a bill / Yes, I’m only a bill / And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill,” the bill sings. “Well, it’s a long, long journey / To the capital city / It’s a long, long wait / While I’m sitting in committee / But I know I’ll be a law someday / At least I hope and pray that I will / But today I am still just a bill.”
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Aug. 23, 2013.
Watch this Schoolhouse Rock! video below:
(h/t: Talking Points Memo)