Describing the current budget impasse as a "Republican shutdown," President Obama delivered an impassioned defense of the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday afternoon while lambasting the GOP for bringing the federal government's operations to a halt.

Speaking in the Rose Garden in front of a group of consumers who will be eligible, starting today, to sign up for insurance under the law better known as Obamacare, the president said a faction within the House GOP has "shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. In other words, they demanded ransom just for doing their job."