WASHINGTON — Saving his reconciliation speech for another day, President Barack Obama tore into his Republican foes on Thursday, saying that the debt limit crisis and the 16-day partial shutdown of the government had hurt people and damaged the U.S. economy.
“There are no winners here,” the president said at the White House just a few hours after signing legislation to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.
“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 slowed our growth.”
Obama said the American people are “completely fed up with Washington,'' and he challenged his political opponents to work through the democratic process and compromise — and to recognize that he was re-elected last year.
“You don't like a particular policy or a particular president, then argue for your position,” the president said.
“Go out there and win an election.”
Earlier Thursday, some of the lawmakers tasked with reaching a budget compromise to avoid another shutdown early next year held a preliminary meeting and expressed optimism they could find common ground.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, the only Oklahoman to vote for the agreement late Wednesday night, will be one of the House Republican negotiators on the budget.
“As lawmakers convene and negotiate long-term reforms through a conference committee, I know we can continue working out policies that promote economic growth and bring down the deficit,” Cole said.
University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren said Thursday he was pleased the government had reopened and default was averted.