Obama Releases Message to Military As Shutdown Begins

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President Barack Obama released a video message early Tuesday morning thanking American servicemembers and Defense Department personnel for their service as most of the federal government shutdown began.

The message, taped hours before the shutdown, features the president addressing the impacts of the shutdown on the Defense Department. Active duty military will continue to serve—and will get paid, thanks to a last-minute measure passed by Congress Monday and signed by the president less than two hours before the government shutdown. Many DOD civilians will be furloughed, while others deemed essential will be required to work without pay.

“Every time, you’ve met your responsibilities and performed with extraordinary professionalism, skill and courage,” Obama said in the video. “Unfortunately, Congress has not fulfilled its responsibility. It has failed to pass a budget and, as a result, much of our government must now shut down until Congress funds it again.”

The video is the latest salvo in the White House’s efforts to portray the president as effectively managing the government shutdown, while increasing pressure on Congress to reopen the federal government.

The full video is below:

Hi everybody.  As President and your Commander in Chief, I’ve worked to make sure you have the strategy, the resources and the support you need to complete the missions our nation asks of you.  Every time, you’ve met your responsibilities and performed with extraordinary professionalism, skill and courage.

Unfortunately, Congress has not fulfilled its responsibility.  It has failed to pass a budget and, as a result, much of our government must now shut down until Congress funds it again.  Secretary Hagel, General Dempsey and your commanders will have more information about how this affects you and your families.  Today, I want to speak directly to you about what happens next.

Those of you in uniform will remain on your normal duty status.  The threats to our national security have not changed, and we need you to be ready for any contingency.  Ongoing military operations—like our efforts in Afghanistan—will continue.  If you’re serving in harm’s way, we’re going to make sure you have what you need to succeed in your missions.  Congress has passed, and I am signing into law, legislation to make sure you get your paychecks on time.  And we’ll continue working to address any impact this shutdown has on you and your families.

To all our DOD civilians—I know the days ahead could mean more uncertainty, including possible furloughs.  And I know this comes on top of the furloughs that many of you already endured this summer.  You and your families deserve better than the dysfunction we’re seeing in Congress.  Your talents and dedication help keep our military the best in the world.  That’s why I’ll keep working to get Congress to reopen our government and get you back to work as soon as possible.

Finally, I know this shutdown occurs against the background of broader changes.  The war in Iraq is over.  The war in Afghanistan will end next year.  After more than a decade of unprecedented operations, we are moving off a war footing.  Yes, our military will be leaner, and as a nation we face difficult budget choices going forward.

But here’s what I want you to know.  I’m going to keep fighting to get rid of those across-the-board budget cuts—the sequester—which are hurting our military and our economy.  We need a responsible approach that deals with our fiscal challenges and keeps our military and our economy strong.  And I’m going to make sure you stay the greatest military in the world—bar none.  That’s what I’m fighting for.  That’s what you and your families deserve.

On behalf of the American people, thank you for your service, which keeps us free.  And thank you for your sacrifice, which keeps our nation – and our military – the greatest force for freedom that the world has ever known.  God bless you and your families, and God bless the United States of America.

8 comments
SamOsborne
SamOsborne

This SHUTDOWN is in any capacity for reason by a rump parliament of self-empowered House Republicans that think with what they consider to be crash-proof dummy heads, and in this Forest Gump’s mother had it right: “STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES!”

The House Republicans do not have a leg to stand on and they are about to shoot themselves in to other foot. Any applause they get will be one hand clapping and the other a shaking fist in anger over the nihilistic mess Republicans have created. And where will they hide out as the impact of their obstinate stupidity hits folks back home and away---it will not be in Washington where things go to hell the fastest for the moistest.

As for “Obamacare,” if this fiasco is allowed to go to too full boil of turmoil, the president will determine that since the government isn’t paying its bills people in need of health coverage cannot be expected to pay for it and there exists a national emergency and as commander in chief he will expend a large chunk of the defense budge to protectively cover the vital health care of the American people. Then, if Republicans are silly enough to start yelling “impeachment.” it will be the pack of them that will need to be on the run.

Is any or all of the above likely? When a nation is shaken to its roots, it is impossible to know where and onto whom the pieces fall, but the French Reign, and the likes that have historically played out before and after, well demonstrates that the blade comes down on the neck of those that were willing to chance the rumble. 

The Las Vegas odds for Republicans getting out of this will be slim to none---with “none” the sure bet. It is hard to believe that anyone, even this not too bright rump parliament in the House, is going to risk all of their marbles, unless they have lost their marbles---therein lies their zero-sum game.

OverallKing
OverallKing

Why on earth would you boast about being "the greatest military in the world - bar none"? Is Obama saying he is proud the US has the most effective killing machine in the world? Obsession with military might and misguided military action is a big reason the US is in such dire financial straits.

Openminded1
Openminded1

What bs pc  rhetoric . I understand why he made the statement and the true reason he spoke to the troops and DOD, but it is bs and what most president would say in his place. nothing new just pc bs, to cover his ass and try to look like the good guy.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@willbediehard @Openminded1 It means it is typical politician , political correctness bs, the right thing to say, but he does not mean it or care. PC is for liars , real people who are honest do not use PC and have to walk on egg shells. i will take a person who says it like it really is over a phony who uses Pc any day.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@jsfox @Openminded1 You are such a typical naive democrat bleeding heart liberal  one track mind and not a very good mind. You live in a cloud of denial to many fumes from the plane you most likely you can not fly delusional wannabe.