The Washington Post

Obama says he is ‘eager to work with anybody’ to address the economy

President Obama makes a statement Wednesday evening about the deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. (Associated Press)

In a brief statement Wednesday night, President Obama said he was “eager to work with anybody” to help address the nation’s economic problems and other challenges.

“And I've got some thoughts about how we can move forward in the remainder of the year and stay focused on the job at hand, because there is a lot of work ahead of us, including our need to earn back the trust of the American people that has been lost over the last few weeks,” Obama said, speaking in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room. “I am willing to work with anybody, I am eager to work with anybody -- Democrat or Republican, House or Senate members -- on any idea that will grow our economy, create new jobs, strengthen the middle class, and get our fiscal house in order for the long term.

He said that once the budget measure adopted by the Senate Wednesday night passes the House "I will sign it immediately.  We'll begin reopening our government immediately, and we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and from the American people.

Even as he said he was open to working with the GOP, saying “I’ve never believed the Democrats had a monopoly on good ideas,” he also chastised lawmakers for engaging in brinksmanship over the budget and debt ceiling.

“We’ve got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis,” he said. “And my hope and expectation is everybody has learned that there is no reason why we can't work on the issues at hand, why we can't disagree between the parties while still being agreeable, and make sure that we're not inflicting harm on the American people when we do have disagreements.”

"So hopefully that’s a lesson that will be internalized, not just by me but also by Democrats and Republicans, not only the leaders but also the rank and file," he said.

As he left the room, the president seemed confident that he would not face the same budgetary crisis once the new continuing resolution expires early next year. Asked if he would face the same situation a few months from now, Obama replied with one word:


Obama said he would say more tomorrow: the White House issued a schedule Wednesday night indicating he will speak Thursday morning at 10:35 a.m.

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.



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