Obama blames Republicans for government shutdown

President Obama has called for a vote to re-open government. Credit: Reuters

President Obama has blamed congressional Republicans for the US Government's budget shutdown, caused after the party sought delays to healthcare reforms, known as 'Obamacare'.

The stalemate is in its third day with little sign of compromise between Republicans and Democrats and concerns grow about the economic consequences.

Speaking today at a press conference, Obama said: "This whole thing is about one thing, the Republican obsession with the Affordable Care Act. That seems to be the only thing that unites the Republican Party right now."

Obama has called for a straight up-or-down vote to re-open government but said House of Representatives Republican leaders are intimidated by the most conservative members of their caucus.