President Barack Obama wants the GOP to shut down the federal government in its quest of defund Obamacare, Rep. Marsha Blackburn told Newsmax on Friday.
"He's the one who wants a government shutdown," the Tennessee Republican said. "He's probably looking at it and saying: 'Shut it down. Give me the checkbook — and I get to control all discretionary spending, the Obamacare spending, the mandatory spending.'
"He's just sitting there saying: 'Have at it. Give it a shutdown,'" Blackburn added.
"That's not what we want. We want for him to be working with us instead of running around the country giving campaign speeches."
Blackburn was among several GOP legislators who shared their insights on Obama's comments at his White House news conference.
The president's harshest words for were for Capitol Hill Republicans, who have threatened to shut down the government on Oct. 1 in their effort to defund Obamacare.
Negotiations over the continuing resolution to finance the government begin next week. Congress will have to pass the resolution by the end of September to keep the government operating.
"The American people would have difficulty understanding why we would weaken our economy, shut down our government, shut down vital services, have people who are not getting paid who then can't go to restaurants or shop for clothes or all the other things that we're doing here — because Republicans have determined that they don't want to see these folks get health care," Obama said, his anger growing as he addressed a reporter's question on the subject.
"They used to say they had a replacement," the president added. "I've been hearing about this whole replacement thing for two years. Now, I just don't hear about it, because basically, they don't have an agenda to provide health insurance to people at affordable rates.
"And the idea that you would shut down the government at a time when the recovery's getting some traction, where we're growing, although not as fast as we need to, where the housing market is recovering, although not as fast as we would like, that we would precipitate another crisis here in Washington that no economist thinks is a good idea — I'm assuming that they will not take that path.
"I have confidence that common sense in the end will prevail," Obama said.
Blackburn told Newsmax that the only common-sense approach on Obamacare is for Republicans to "make certain that there is no way that any money, any taxpayer money, is going to go into this bill because the majority of the American people do not want this law.
"They don't want Obamacare," she added. "They want to keep what they've got. They're really upset about this."
Republicans have been proposing healthcare reforms since Obama's bipartisan 2009 healthcare summit at Blair House in Washington.
These include allowing Americans to buy health insurance across state lines and ensuring that insurers faithfully back the policies they sell.
"The difference between his proposals and our proposals are that ours are patient-centered, free-market-oriented — and theirs are government-centered," Blackburn told Newsmax. "We want to leave the control with the patients."
In fact, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia released a list of GOP proposals to lower healthcare costs and to improve services.
These include legislation to establish programs to provide coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions, to end "junk lawsuits" against doctors and insurance companies, and to prevent insurers from unjustly cancelling policies or instituting lifetime spending caps.
"Rather than engage in partisan attacks, President Obama should work with Congress to implement better healthcare reforms that lower costs, protect jobs and provide better care, as Republicans have consistently offered," Rory Cooper, a Cantor spokesman, told Newsmax.
"Obamacare increases costs, turns full-time jobs into part-time jobs and reduces the quality of care," he added. "President Obama should urge the Senate to pass our bill codifying his desired employer mandate delay which also extends this privilege to every individual citizen.”
Former South Carolina GOP Sen. Jim DeMint told Newsmax that the House should defund Obamacare no matter what the risk to the Republican Party, even if it leads to a government shutdown.
"We all know this is a terrible bill, and the more we learn about it the more we understand it's going to hurt people, it's going to hurt our country," said DeMint, who now is the president of the Heritage Foundation. "This may be our last chance to stop it, and the only way to stop it when Republicans control only the House is to fund the government but not to include any funding for Obamacare."
And Republican Rep. Peter King of New York, who is considering a White House run in 2016, was even more blunt in his response to Obama's news conference.
“I wish he showed the same anger toward Edward Snowden as he did to the Republicans on Obamacare,” King told CNN.
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