President Barack Obama on Monday again urged House Republicans to pass an eleventh-hour measure to avert a government shutdown, saying that conservatives are holding the government "ransom" over their objections to Obamacare.
"One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government doesn't get to shut down the entire government just to re-fight the results of an election," he said during a statement at the White House.
President Barack Obama speaks to the media at the White House as a government shutdown deadline looms over Washington.
Obama said that a shutdown "does not have to happen" and can be prevented if House Republicans agree to pass the Senate's version of a funding bill before midnight tonight.
"You don't get to extract a ransom for doing your job, for doing what you're supposed to be doing anyway" he said. "Or just because there's a law there that you don't like."
The president's statement comes as Congress remains deadlocked over a measure to keep the government funded after midnight tonight.
With the clock ticking towards the deadline, House Republicans announced earlier Monday afternoon that they intend to vote on a funding measure that includes a one-year delay of the individual mandate provision of Obamacare, a proposal that Senate Democrats are certain to reject.
In an interview with NPR News, Obama also reiterated that he will not accept such a delay.
"The notion that we would even delay [Obamacare] - simply because the Republicans have decided ideologically that they're opposed to the Affordable Care Act - is not something that we're going to be discussing."
Obama made a similarly late-scheduled address last Friday, reiterating bluntly that he will not roll back his signature domestic policy achievement.
“The House Republicans are so concerned with appeasing the Tea Party that they've threatened a government shutdown or worse unless I gut or repeal the Affordable Care Act,” Obama said Friday. “Let me repeat it. That’s not going to happen. More than 100 million Americans currently already have new benefits and protections under the law.”