ROCKVILLE, Md. -- President Obama again blamed Republicans for the continued government shutdown during a speech Thursday morning in Maryland.
The president spoke at a construction company there, highlighting how the shutdown is affecting small businesses. He says economic progress is being threatened by the gridlock in Washington. He warned that the longer the shutdown drags on, the more ordinary people are being hurt.
Republicans have said any new spending bill needs to include provisions to defund the Affordable Care Act.
President Obama called for House Speaker John Boehner to pass a "clean bill" that doesn't cover the Affordable Care Act, saying that would pass without a problem.
"The American people elected their representatives to make their lives easier, not harder. And there's one way out of this reckless and damaging Republican shutdown. Congress has to pass a budget that funds our government with no partisan strings attached," Obama said.
The president also touched on the upcoming battle over raising the debt ceiling, saying that could have a much larger impact on the nation's finances.