WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says House Republicans have shut down the federal government over an "ideological crusade" against his health care law.
Obama made his comments while speaking in the Rose Garden on the first day of the government shutdown. He said the longer the shutdown continues, the worse the impact will be.
The president said Republicans should not be able to hold the entire economy "hostage." He urged them to reopen the government quickly and allow furloughed federal employees to go back to work.
The government shut down because Congress did not pass a funding bill ahead of Monday's midnight deadline for the end of the 2013 fiscal year.