President Barack Obama used an address in Maryland on Thursday to try to pressure Republican lawmakers into accepting a spending bill to end the government shutdown that is now in its third day.
"The longer this goes on, the worse it will be," Obama said at a company in Rockville, M. Luis Construction. "The impact of the shutdown goes way beyond those things that you're seeing on television."
Obama sought to tie the shutdown -- as well as the Oct. 17 deadline to raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling -- to the economy. He warned the brinkmanship on both issues could undercut the nation's fragile economic progress.
The president also cited a quote from an Indiana Republican, Rep. Marlin Stutzman, that Democrats on Capitol Hill began pounding on Thursday. "We have to get something out of this," Stutzman told reporters. "And I don't know what that even is."
The president argued lawmakers already have been given the opportunity to serve.
"The American people aren't in the mood to give you a goody bag to go with it," he said.
Republicans dismissed the president's visit as a political stunt and they have argued that Democrats have been unwilling to compromise on their proposals.
"Republicans have sent bill after bill after bill to the Senate to keep the government open, and Democrats have rejected every one of them -- refusing to even talk about our differences," House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. "We want to resolve this dispute as soon as possible, but that will require Washington Democrats to realize neither side gets everything it wants."
Obama's speech is unlikely to change the dynamic on Capital Hill, where lawmakers have been deadlocked in their effort to end the shutdown. Some Republicans are seeking a broader budget agreement on taxes and entitlement spending, but Democrats have said they won't negotiate on those issues until the government is reopened.
M. Luis Construction, one of the state's largest minority- and woman-owned companies, won $7.5 million in contracting business with the state in 2012. The Baltimore-based asphalt and construction company employs 250 people and generates $60 million in annual revenue.
Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew visited the same Rockville office in June.
Stutzman subsequently said in a statement that he "carelessly misrepresented the ongoing budget debate and Speaker Boehner's work on behalf of the American people. Despite my remarks it's clear that the American people want both parties to come to the table to reopen the government, tackle this nation's debt crisis, and stop Obamacare's pain."