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Obama: US budget shutdown is ‘entirely avoidable’

President Barack Obama has said a potential US government shutdown is “entirely avoidable” as only a few hours remain to avert it.

Mr Obama criticized Republicans for trying to refight the last election as they seek to link the budget to delaying his health care law.

If no agreement is reached by midnight (04:00 GMT), the government will close all non-essential federal services.

The shutdown would be the first in the US in 17 years.

More than 700,000 federal government workers could be sent home on unpaid leave, with no guarantee of back pay once the deadlock is over.

One of the key points of contention in the political stalemate has been President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, popularly known as Obamacare.

Republicans in the House of Representatives – and their allies in the Senate – have demanded the law be repealed or stripped of funding as a condition for continuing to fund the government.

Major portions of the law, which passed in 2010 and has been validated by the US Supreme Court, are due to take effect on Tuesday regardless of whether there is a shutdown.

No ‘furloughed’ bills

A shutdown would have “a very real economic impact on real people, right away,” Mr Obama said on Monday afternoon, as just under seven hours remained until the deadline, adding it would “throw a wrench” into the US recovery.

“The idea of putting the American people’s hard-earned progress at risk is the height of irresponsibility, and it doesn’t have to happen.”

Read the full story on BBC News

Category: World News |

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Last updated October 24, 2016 at 6:05 PM
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