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October 5, 2013

America does not negotiate under the shadow of Threats.

The American Economy can not be held hostage by its own citizens.

Congress doesn’t get to demand ransom in exchange for doing their job. They don’t get to kick a child out of Head Start if I don’t agree to take her parents’ health insurance away. That’s why I won’t pay a ransom in exchange for reopening the government. ~ President Obama (video)

Kelly Mumper lives in rural Alabama. She works in early education, and has three children of her own in the Marines. Here’s what she wrote to me on Wednesday.

“Our Head Start agency…was forced to stop providing services on October 1st for over 770 children, and 175 staff were furloughed. I am extremely concerned for the welfare of these children. There are parents who work and who attend school. Where are they leaving their children…is it a safe environment…are [they] getting the food that they receive at their Head Start program?”

On the day Julia Pruden’s application to buy a home for her and her special needs children was approved by the USDA’s rural development direct loan program, she wrote me from Minot, North Dakota.

“We put in an offer to purchase a home this weekend, and it was accepted…if funding does not go through, our chances of the American Dream [are] down the drain…We have worked really hard to get our credit to be acceptable to purchase a home…if it weren’t for the direct lending program provided by the USDA, we would not qualify to buy the home we found.

…These are our fellow Americans…And I know Republicans in the House of Representatives are hearing the same kinds of stories.”

“Obama said there are enough bipartisan votes in the House to pass a budget, but the GOP’s rightwing won’t allow Speaker Boehner to call for a yes-or-no vote.

He said members of Congress “don’t get to hold our democracy or our economy hostage over a settled law. They don’t get to kick a child out of Head Start if I don’t agree to take her parents’ health insurance away.”

“That’s why I won’t pay a ransom in exchange for reopening the government…or raising the debt ceiling.”

The president reiterated his willingness to work with “anyone of either party…but not under the shadow of these threats to our economy.”

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