Obama calls Republicans bluff over budget vote

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Obama calls Republicans bluff over budget vote

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Seven days into the US government shut down and only 10 away from a critical need to raise the nation’s debt limit and still there is no sign of a breakthrough.

But on a visit to to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), President Barack Obama said he believed public anger at the standoff over the budget may have influenced some in Congress.

“The House should hold that vote today,” said Obama. “If Republicans and Speaker [John] Boehner are saying there are not enough votes, then they should prove it. Let the bill go to the floor and let’s see what happens. Just vote. My suspicion is – my very strong suspicion – is that there are enough votes there.”

If Republicans agree to reopen the government without using Obama’s health reforms as a bargaining chip, the president has indicated he would be willing to accept a short-term debt ceiling increase to get past the potential crisis date of October 17.

Economist Steven Ricciuto gave his opinion, saying: “I think it is a strategy that will be somewhat acceptable to the American people in that you don’t default. But by the same token, each of those debt limit bills may have something attached to it that tries to move the funding forward.”

It means more confrontations with Republicans threatening debt-default on short term deadlines. The consequences of that are being seen now with unsettled financial markets and threats to the US’s credit rating.