Speaking at a Ford assembly plant in Kansas City, Mo. -- shortly after the House approved legislation that would fund the U.S. government for 75 days but only if the ACA is defunded -- Obama blamed what he called a "pretty big faction" in the Republican Party and said they have "gone beyond holding Congress hostage."
"They are holding the whole country hostage," he said. "One Republican senator called shutting down the government over the Affordable Care Act, 'the dumbest idea I have ever heard.' I agree with him."
A government shutdown threatens the economic recovery, Obama said, while conceding the economy is still fragile.
He said the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, will provide benefits for almost everyone in the country.
The president toured the plant, chatting with some of the employees.
The House vote in favor of a spending bill that defunds the ACA now goes to the U.S. Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said: "Any bill that defunds Obamacare is dead, dead."