As it appears the weeks of stalemate are coming to a close, President Obama briefly addressed the press room on Wednesday night, lauding the Senate-approved bill which would end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling but which is still waiting for a House vote. He pledged to sign the agreement and re-open the government "immediately" after the compromise passes, saying he's "convinced Democrats and Republicans can work together to make progress for America." Congress has "got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis," Obama said before leaving the podium. "Isn't this going to happen again in a few months?" a reporter called after him. "No!" he shouted back. The president will address the nation again at 10:35 a.m. on Thursday.
From the President's remarks:
"The Senate has now voted to approve this agreement, and Democrats and Republicans in the House still have an important vote to take, but I want to thank the leaders of both parties for getting us to this point. Once this agreement arrives on my desk, I will sign it immediately. We'll begin reopening our government immediately, and we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and from the American people."
A full transcript of the President's remarks below the fold.
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THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release October 16, 2013
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
8:28 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening, everybody. Tonight, the Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together around an agreement that will reopen our government and remove the threat of default from our economy.
The Senate has now voted to approve this agreement, and Democrats and Republicans in the House still have an important vote to take, but I want to thank the leaders of both parties for getting us to this point. Once this agreement arrives on my desk, I will sign it immediately. We'll begin reopening our government immediately, and we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and from the American people.
I'll have more to say about this tomorrow. And I've got some thoughts about how we can move forward in the remainder of the year and stay focused on the job at hand, because there is a lot of work ahead of us, including our need to earn back the trust of the American people that has been lost over the last few weeks. And we can begin to do that by addressing the real issues that they care about.
I've said it before, I'll say it again: I am willing to work with anybody, I am eager to work with anybody -- Democrat or Republican, House or Senate members -- on any idea that will grow our economy, create new jobs, strengthen the middle class, and get our fiscal house in order for the long term. I've never believed that Democrats have a monopoly on good ideas. And despite the differences over the issue of shutting down our government, I'm convinced that Democrats and Republicans can work together to make progress for America.
In fact, there are things that we know will help strengthen our economy that we could get done before this year is out. We still need to pass a law to fix our broken immigration system. We still need to pass a farm bill. And with the shutdown behind us and budget committees forming, we now have an opportunity to focus on a sensible budget that is responsible, that is fair, and that helps hardworking people all across this country.
And we could get all these things done even this year if everybody comes together in a spirit of how are we going to move this country forward and put the last three weeks behind us. That’s what I believe the American people are looking for -- not a focus on politics, not a focus on elections, but a focus on the concrete steps that can improve their lives. That’s going to be my focus. I'm looking forward to Congress doing the same.
But, once again, I want to thank the leadership for coming together and getting this done. Hopefully, next time, it won't be in the 11th hour. One of the things that I said throughout this process is we've got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis. And my hope and expectation is everybody has learned that there is no reason why we can't work on the issues at hand, why we can't disagree between the parties while still being agreeable, and make sure that we're not inflicting harm on the American people when we do have disagreements.
So hopefully that’s a lesson that will be internalized, not just by me but also by Democrats and Republicans, not only the leaders but also the rank and file.
Thanks very much, everybody.
Q Mr. President, isn't this going to happen all over again in a few months?
THE PRESIDENT: No. (Laughter.)