House Speaker John Boehner imitated the president on the House floor as he described their ultimately fruitless conversation Monday evening in the hours before a U.S. government shutdown.
“I talked to the president earlier tonight,” the Ohio Republican said before dropping his voice to sound more like President Barack Obama. “‘I’m not gonna negotiate. I’m not gonna negotiate. We’re not gonna do this.’ Well, I would say to the president, ‘This is not about me. This is not about Republicans here in Congress. It’s about fairness for the American people.’”
House Republicans repeatedly sent bills that would have temporarily funded the federal government but cut funding or delayed the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
The Senate’s Democratic majority repeatedly stripped those bills of their anti-Obamacare provisions and sent them back to the House for approval, setting up the impasse that led to the first U.S. government shutdown in 17 years.
About 800,000 federal workers will be laid off starting Tuesday until Congress can agree on a funding measure.
Obama took aim Monday evening at Republicans who have insisted on derailing what’s viewed as the president’s signature domestic achievement, which has withstood a Supreme Court challenge and was a major issue during the 2012 presidential election.
“One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government doesn’t get to shut down the entire government just to re-fight the results of an election,” Obama said.
Watch the video below from C-SPAN, broadcast Sept. 30:
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