President Obama’s message on the government shutdown to troops

President Barack Obama issued a video message to troops as the federal government was forced to shutdown by Republicans who want to repeal the new health care reform law that allows children to stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26, stops insurance companies from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and expands access to insurance for millions of Americans.

As much of the federal government ground to a halt, President Barack Obama told the military that he would push Congress to re-open the government as soon as possible.

In his response Tuesday to Congress’ failure to avert the first shutdown in 17 years, President Obama addressed his comments in a video to American troops, rather than the lawmakers he’s been scolding for weeks.

There was no reference in the three-minute video message to Republicans, whose insistence that President Obama’s health care law be scaled back has been at the center of a gruelling back-and-forth between the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-led Senate.

Troops in uniform in Afghanistan and elsewhere will stay on duty, Obama said, noting that he signed a law Monday to make sure they get their paychecks on time.

Thousands of civilians who work for the Defense Department face unpaid leave, compounding the damage already inflicted on the military by automatic spending cuts.  Hundreds of thousands of other government workers will be off work on Tuesday, but some essential services will continue.

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