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CBS’s Mark Knoller Challenges Obama on Why He Won’t ‘Go Along’ with House GOP Funding Bills

One of the only pointed questions during President Obama‘s Tuesday afternoon press conference came from CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller, who challenged the president on why he does not “go along” with any of the House bills to fund programs like Head Start amid a federal government shutdown.

“While you’re waiting for the shutdown to end,” Knoller began, “why is that you can’t go along with any of the bills the House is passing? Funding the FDA and FEMA — where you were yesterday — and veterans benefits and Head Start. You have to be tempted to kind of get funding to those programs you support.”

“Of course I’m tempted,” the president replied. “Because you’d like to think you could solve at least some of the problems if you couldn’t solve all of it.”

The “problem” at hand, Obama said, is that “Wherever Republicans are feeling political pressure, they put a bill forward, and if there’s no political heat — no television story on it — then nothing happens. If we do some sort of shotgun approach like that, then you’ll have some programs that are highly visible get funded and re-opened, like national monuments, but things that don’t get a lot of attention, like those SBA loans not being funded.”

“We don’t get to select which programs we implement or not,” the president continued, before ridiculing the GOP’s insistence on defunding Obamacare as part of a budget compromise:

“There are whole bunch of things the Republicans have said are law that we have to do, and I don’t get a chance to go back and say, ‘You know what? This cockamamie idea that this Republican congressman came up with, I don’t like, so let’s not implement that.’ Once you have a budget and a government with a set of functions you make sure that it’s all operating. We don’t get to pick and choose based on which party likes what.”

Ultimately, the president concluded, “you don’t do a piecemeal approach like that when you’re dealing with government shutdown.”

Watch below, via C-SPAN:


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