The President delivered a statement in the press briefing room at the White House on his conversation with Iranian President Rouhani, the first time the two leaders have spoken. The United States has not had regular diplomatic relations with Iran since 1979 and this is the first time an American and an Iranian president have spoken since that time.
He also mentioned that he is optimistic about the U.N. Security Council Meeting scheduled for Friday night, where member states will discuss Syria.
He then spoke on the Senate's passage of the continuing resolution, and the need to avoid a government shutdown. He said that the Republicans in the House, under the influence of the Tea Party, are willing to shut down the government over the health care law. He also said he was willing to work with Republicans to improve the law, but not over the threat of a shut down.
He addressed the debt ceiling, which the administration has estimated will be reached in the next three weeks. Congress has to pass a bill to raise the ceiling or the U.S. will have to default on it's debts. The threat of a U.S. default in 2011 resulted in one of the major credit ratings agencies downgrading the U.S. Treasury's credit rating.
"Nobody gets to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States just to extract political concessions," he said.
The Senate passed a bill Friday afternoon. The House will meet over the weekend to consider this version of the bill, which does not include the house-passed provision that would strip all funding from the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
In response to the President's statement, Brendan Buck, spokesman for Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement:
“The House will take action that reflects the fundamental fact that Americans don’t want a government shutdown and they don’t want the train wreck that is Obamacare. Grandstanding from the president, who refuses to even be a part of the process, won’t bring Congress any closer to a resolution.”