Ford Stamping Plant
12:53 P.M. CDT
...Let me talk a little bit about what’s going on back in Washington. Right now, Congress is in the middle of a budget debate. Now, there’s nothing new about that. Every year Congress has got to pass a budget, and it’s always a contentious process. But right now our recovery still needs to build more strength, so it’s important that we get it right in Washington, because even though our success as a country is ultimately going to depend on great businesses like Ford, hard workers like you, government has to do some things.
Congress has to pass a budget to make sure our education system works, and prepares our kids and our workers for the global economy. If we’re going to rebuild our roads, our bridges, our airports, our ports, government has got to be involved in that. If we’re going to have scientific research and development -- I was looking at all these newfangled pieces of equipment here -- some of the things that allowed the efficiencies of this plant originated in laboratories and scientists doing work on the government’s dime. That's how we always maintain our cutting-edge. These are things that help us grow. These are things that help the private sector succeed.
So when people tell you somehow government is irrelevant. No, everything we do has some connection to making sure that we, collectively, as a democracy, are making some smart investments in the future. (Applause.) That's how it’s always been.
So what Congress is doing right now is important. Unfortunately, right now the debate that going on in Congress is not meeting the test of helping middle-class families. It’s just they're not focused on you. They're focused on politics. They're focused on trying to mess with me. (Laughter.) They're not focused on you. They're not focused on you. (Applause.)
So there are two deadlines coming up that Congress has to meet. And I want folks to pay attention to this. Congress has to meet two deadlines, and they're coming up pretty quick.
The first deadline: The most basic constitutional duty Congress has is to pass a budget. That’s Congress 101. If they don’t pass a budget by September 30th -- what’s the date today? The 20th. All right, so if Congress doesn't pass a budget in 10 days, a week from Monday, the government will shut down. A government shutdown shuts down many services that the American people rely on.
This is not abstract. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will not be allowed to go to work. Our men and women in uniform, even those deployed overseas, won’t get their paychecks on time. Small businesses, they won’t get their loans processed.
Now, none of that has to happen, as long as Congress passes a budget. Number one -- passing a budget.
Number two: In the next few weeks, Congress must vote to allow the Department of the Treasury to pay America’s bills. Our Treasury Department, that’s where we take in money and we pay it, right? Real simple. This is usually done with a simple, routine vote to raise what’s called the debt ceiling. If you don’t raise the debt ceiling, America can't pay its bills.
Since the 1950s, Congress has always passed it. Every President has signed it -- Democrats, Republicans, Ronald Reagan -- (laughter) -- Lyndon Johnson -- it doesn’t matter. This is just a routine thing that you've got to do so that Treasury can pay the bills. If Congress doesn’t pass this debt ceiling in the next few weeks, the United States will default on its obligations. That’s never happened in American history. Basically, America becomes a deadbeat.
If the world sees America not paying its bills, then they will not buy debt, Treasury bills from the United States, or if they do, they'll do it at much higher interest rates. That means somebody wanting to buy an F-150 will have to pay much higher interest rates eventually, which means you will sell less cars. That’s just one example of how profoundly destructive this could be. This is not some abstract thing.
US House approves controversial government funding bill/ Al Jazeera America
At issue is the need to pass a short-term funding bill to prevent a partial government shutdown when the budget year ends on Sept. 30. Washington's longstanding budget stalemate has derailed the annual appropriations bills required to fund federal agencies.
A government shutdown would delay pay for federal workers, send nonessential federal workers home, close national parks and shut passport offices. Essential programs like air traffic control, food inspection and the Border Patrol would keep running.
'Let them starve' bill/BBC.UK
US lawmakers have narrowly voted to cut food stamp benefits from next year despite a veto threat from the White House and opposition by lobby groups.
The Republican-led House of Representatives passed the bill by 217-200. But it has little chance in the Democratic-held Senate.
The bill would save $39bn (£24bn) over a decade, but affect four million people on the programme.
It comes a day after census data showed 15% of Americans live in poverty.
An estimated one in seven Americans - most of them children, elderly or disabled - receive food stamps.