Republicans appeasing 'extremists' on shutdown: Obama
WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama on Monday accused Republicans of pandering to the "extreme right wing" of their party and holding Americans hostage in a budget dispute threatening to shutter the United States (US) government.
Just over six hours before government services grind to a halt and thousands of federal workers are furloughed, Mr Obama said time was running out for a last-minute compromise.
Republicans in the House of Representatives are seeking to force Mr Obama to delay or defund his signature health insurance reform law in return for funding government operations.
They are using a similar tactic as Mr Obama also asks Congress for a lifting of the US$16.7 trillion (S$21 trillion) US debt ceiling. If no deal is reached, the US may begin defaulting on its debts by the middle of October.