President Obama delivered the following remarks on the end of the government shutdown and the lifting of the federal debt limit on Oct. 17 at the White House.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good morning, everybody. Please have a seat.
Last night I signed legislation to reopen our government and pay America's bills. Because Democrats and responsible Republicans came together, the first government shutdown in 17 years is now over; the first default in more than 200 years will not happen. These twin threats to our economy have now been lifted, and I want to thank those Democrats and Republicans for getting together and ultimately getting this job done.
Now, there's been a lot of discussion lately of the politics of this shutdown. But let's be clear. There are no winners here. These last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy. We don't know yet the full scope of the damage, but every analyst out there believes it's slowed our growth. We know that families have gone without paychecks or services they depend on. We know that potential homebuyers have gotten fewer mortgages and small business loans have been put on hold. We know that consumers have cut back on spending and that half of all CEOs say that the shutdown and the threat of shutdown set back their plans to hire over the next six months.
We know that just the threat of default, of America not paying all the bills that we owe on time, increased our borrowing costs, which adds to our deficit. And of course, we know that the American people's frustration with what goes on in this town has never been higher.
That's not a surprise that the American people are completely fed up with Washington. At a moment when our economic recovery demands more jobs, more momentum, we've got yet another self-inflicted crisis that set our economy back. And for what? There was no economic rationale for all of this. Over the past four years, our economy has been growing, our businesses have been creating jobs, and our deficits have been in half. We hear some members who pushed for the shutdown say they were doing it to save the American economy. But nothing has done more to undermine our economy these past three years than the kind of tactics that create these manufactured crises.
And you don't have to take my word for it. The agency that put America's credit rating on watch the other day explicitly cited all of this, saying that our economy remains more dynamic and resilient than other advanced economies and that the only thing putting us at risk is -- and I'm quoting here -- "repeated brinksmanship." That's what the credit rating agency said.
That wasn't a political statement. That was an analysis of what's hurting our economy by people whose job it is to analyze these things.
That also happens to be the view of our diplomats, who have been hearing from their counterparts internationally.
Some of the same folks who pushed for the shutdown and threatened default claim their actions were needed to get America back on the right track, to make sure we're strong.