(Photo : Reuters)
President Obama scolded Congress in a speech on Thursday just hours after lawmakers voted to reopen the government and barely avoided a national default.
There have been "no winners" in the government shutdown dispute, and lawmakers will have to work hard to regain the trust of Americans, said the president according to USA Today.
"The American people are completely fed up with Washington," he continued during remarks at the White House.
He repeatedly criticized Congress over the just-ended shutdown and a near-default, stating, "At a moment when our economic recovery demands more jobs, more momentum, we've got yet another self-inflicted crisis that set our economy back."
Although Obama stressed that he is willing to work with lawmakers, his tone seemed to especially condemn Republicans, whom Americans largely blame for pushing the country to the brink of a global economic collapse. Obama said events over the past two weeks had inflicted "completely unnecessary" damage on the U.S. economy.
An increase in borrowing costs caused by the near-debt default was harmful and consumers cut back on spending with hundreds of thousands of government workers suddenly idled, he said.
"There was no economic rationale for all of this," he said.
Though bruised by the battle, Obama emerged as the clear winner. He immediately sought to use the political capital gained to advance a domestic policy agenda centered around a fresh round of budget talks and an effort to win approval of two stalled items--immigration reform and a farm bill.
Obama also issued an aggressive challenge to Congress, particularly the Republican-controlled House, to stop focusing on who wins and loses political battles and get to work with him on issues critical to improving the economy.
"All of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists and the bloggers and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do," he said.