President Obama turned part of his weekly radio address over to Americans affected by the government shutdown, saying he's received "many heartbreaking letters" -- including some 30,000 over the past few days.
He said he heard from Kelly Mumper of rural Alabama on Wednesday, who said she works in early education and has three children who are in the Marines.
"Our Head Start agency...was forced to stop providing services on Oct. 1 for over 770 children and 175 staff were furloughed," Obama said Mumper wrote. " I am extremely concerned for the welfare of these children..."
And he read a letter from Julia Pruden of Minot, North Dakota, whose application to buy a home for her and her special needs children was approved by the USDA's rural development direct loan program.
"If funding does not go through, our chances of the American Dream (are down the drain," Obama said she wrote.
"These are our fellow Americans," Obama said. "These are the people who sent us here to serve. And I know that Republicans in the House of Representatives are hearing the same kind of stories, too."
He said there's only one way out of what he called a "reckless and damaging shutdown: pass a budget that funds our government, with no partisan strings attached."
He repeated his contention that there are enough Democrats and Republicans to get such a bill passed, but added, "the far right of the Republican Party won't let Speaker John Boehner give that bill a yes or no vote."
"Take that vote. Stop this farce," he said. "End this shutdown now."