When CBS reporter Mark Knoller asked President Barack Obama why he refused to “go along” with any of the House bills to fund programs like Head Start or veterans benefits during the government shutdown, the commander-in-chief was blunt in his response.
He said if the Republican’s aren’t feeling any “political heat” then “nothing happens.”
Here’s Knoller’s full question: “While you’re waiting for the shutdown to end, why is it that you can’t go along with any of the bills the House is passing? Funding the FDA and FEMA — where you were yesterday — and veterans benefits and Head Start. You have to be tempted to kind of get funding to those programs you support.”
Obama admitted that he is “tempted” to support the bills, because “you’d like to think you could solve at least some of the problems if you couldn’t solve all of it.” That’s what Republicans claim they are trying to do with the appropriations bills to restore funding to various affected programs.
“But here’s the problem. What you’ve seen are bills that come up wherever Republicans are feeling political pressure, they put a bill forward. And if there’s no political heat, if there’s no television story on it, then nothing happens,” Obama said .”If we do some sort of shotgun approach like that, then you’ll have some programs that are highly visible get funded and re-opened, like national monuments, but things that don’t get a lot of attention, like those SBA loans not being funded.”
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) loaded Obama’s response to YouTube with the title: “Obama: Pain of Shutdown Needed for Political Pressure and News Stories.”