Obama Accuses Republicans of Using 'Extortion' amid Govt Shutdown
US President Barack Obama has warned Republicans to stop using “threats and extortion” over the ongoing US government shutdown.
Addressing a news conference, Obama said the American people do not demand a ransom for doing their jobs, so neither should Republicans.
"Democracy doesn't function this way. And this is not just for me. It's also for my successors in office, whatever party they're from,” he said.
The President also warned of the repercussions of defaulting on the government's debt should Congress fail to raise the borrowing limit, currently set to be reached on October 17.
Much of the US government has been shutdown - with hundreds of thousands of workers furloughed, national parks closed, programs for anything from child care to space exploration shuttered – since October 1.
Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, refused to approve the budget, claiming they would only do so in exchange for concessions over Obama’s controversial healthcare reform law.