Wednesday, June 29, 2011


In response to suggestions by prominent Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner that the Aug. 2 deadline set by the Treasury Department was “artificial,” the president said, “Aug. 2 is a very important date and there’s no reason why we can’t get this done now. We know what the options are out there. This is not a technical problem any longer. This is the matter of Congress going ahead and biting the bullet and making some tough decisions.”

If his two daughters can do their homework with plenty of time to spare, the president then asked, why can’t Congress get their work done, too?

“You know, Malia and Sasha generally finish their homework a day ahead of time. Malia is 13 and Sasha is 10. It is impressive. They don’t wait until the night before. They’re not pulling all-nighters,” he said to laughter from the assembled press corps. “They’re 13 and 10. You know, Congress can do the same thing. If you know you’ve got to do something, just do it.”

But the president wasn’t done yet. After touting his leadership on the debt ceiling issue, pointing out that he’d met with members of Congress repeatedly in recent months, the president took some shots at the Congressional calendar that leaves lawmakers ample time to leave Washington and return to their home states and districts.

“They need to do their job. Now’s the time to go ahead and make the tough choices. That’s why they’re called leaders. And I’ve already shown that I’m willing to make decisions that are very tough and you know, give my base of voters further reason to give me a hard time, but it’s got to be done, so there’s no point in procrastinating. There’s no point in putting it off. You know, we’ve got to get this done. And if by the end of this week we have not seen substantial progress then I think members of Congress need to understand we’re going to have to start canceling things and stay here until we get it done. They’re in one week. They’re out one week. And then they’re saying Obama’s got to step in – you need to be here, I’ve been here, I’ve been doing Afghanistan, bin Laden, and the Greek crisis. You stay here. Let’s get it done.”

“Alright, I think you know my feelings about that,” he said with a chuckle.

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