President Barack Obama continued to hammer congressional Republicans on Saturday, urging them to "stop governing by crisis" in their efforts to defund his signature health care law.
The statement came at the Congressional Black Caucus dinner in Washington, a day after House Republicans passed a controversial stopgap spending bill that would shut down the federal government next month unless Obama and Senate Democrats agree to strip all funding for Obamacare implementation.
The measure also paves the way for another high-stakes showdown over the federal debt limit, which the United States Treasury expects to hit sometime in October. A failure to raise the limit in a timely manner would put the U.S. at significant risk of defaulting on its debt obligations, with potentially devastating consequences.
"It's time for these folks to stop governing by crisis," Obama said, according to a transcript released by the White House Press Office, "and start focusing on what really matters: Creating new jobs, growing our economy, expanding opportunity for ourselves, looking after our children, doing something about the violence out there."
Obama adamantly insisted that any effort by Republicans to defund Obamacare is bound to fail.
"We will not negotiate over whether or not America should keep its word and meet its obligations," he said. "We're not going to allow anyone to inflict economic pain on millions of our own people just to make an ideological point."
The president has criticized congressional Republicans frequently in recent weeks as the plot to defund Obamacare built significant momentum among the the party's powerful right flank.
On Wednesday, he accused the GOP of engaging in "terrifying financial brinksmanship" fueled by "ideological arguments." On Friday, he said the GOP was motivated primarily by a political desire to "mess with me," rather than by concern for voters' wellbeing.
The House-approved spending bill now heads to the Senate, where the Democratic majority is poised to remove the portions of the bill defunding Obamacare. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) urged his Republicans colleagues on Friday to to filibuster any effort to make such an change.
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Roosevelt establishes wage and price controls during World War II. Businesses can't attract workers with higher pay so they compete through added benefits, including health insurance, which grows into a workplace perk. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
President Harry Truman calls on Congress to create a national insurance program for those who pay voluntary fees. The American Medical Association denounces the idea as "socialized medicine" and it goes nowhere. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
John F. Kennedy makes health care a major campaign issue but as president can't get a plan for the elderly through Congress. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
President Lyndon B. Johnson's legendary arm-twisting and a Congress dominated by his fellow Democrats lead to creation of two landmark government health programs: Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
President Richard Nixon wants to require employers to cover their workers and create federal subsidies to help everyone else buy private insurance. The Watergate scandal intervenes. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
President Jimmy Carter pushes a mandatory national health plan, but economic recession helps push it aside. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
President Ronald Reagan signs COBRA, a requirement that employers let former workers stay on the company health plan for 18 months after leaving a job, with workers bearing the cost. (MIKE SARGENT/AFP/Getty Images)
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President George W. Bush persuades Congress to add prescription drug coverage to Medicare in a major expansion of the program for older people. (STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
Hillary Rodham Clinton promotes a sweeping health care plan in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. She loses to Obama, who has a less comprehensive plan. (PAUL RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
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With no Republican support, Congress passes the measure, designed to extend health care coverage to more than 30 million uninsured people. Republican opponents scorned the law as "Obamacare." (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
On a campaign tour in the Midwest, Obama himself embraces the term "Obamacare" and says the law shows "I do care." (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)