White House Issues Dire Warnings of Shutdown Consequences as Deadline Approaches

by Jessica
Joe Biden

According to a report from The New York Times on Sunday, September 24, 2023, as the government shutdown deadline approaches, the White House intensifies warnings of its impact.

President Joe Biden and administration officials press congressional Republicans for a resolution.

Both President Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg have made public appeals to Republicans to resolve their differences before the federal funding runs out next Sunday.

They emphasize that a government shutdown would have far-reaching implications, including delayed paychecks for military personnel, disruptions for air travelers, and the closure of various programs aimed at safeguarding the public.

Despite private discussions over the weekend, there is little indication that the GOP is making progress toward a resolution.

Speaking at a Saturday dinner for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, President Biden expressed his concerns, blaming a “small group of extreme Republicans” for opposing a spending deal he had negotiated with Speaker Kevin McCarthy earlier this year.

He warned that a government shutdown could affect critical areas such as food safety, cancer research, and Head Start programs for children, putting the entire nation at risk.

Biden emphasized the fundamental responsibility of Congress to fund the government, urging Republicans to fulfill their duty, saying, “It’s time for Republicans to start doing the job America elected them to do.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg added his voice to the urgency, warning that the training of new air traffic controllers would halt during an already-stressed staffing shortage, potentially exacerbating travel delays.

He pointed out that working controllers would go without pay, increasing their stress and affecting the overall efficiency of air travel.

House Republicans gathered on Capitol Hill over the weekend to chart a path forward, but their efforts to resolve internal opposition to a stopgap spending measure yielded little progress.

Speaker McCarthy, after facing procedural defeats on the House floor, acceded to demands from the far-right faction to introduce full-year spending bills with substantial cuts, even though negotiating these bills with the Senate within a week is virtually impossible.

The move was seen by Republicans as a gesture of “good faith” to persuade hard-line members to support a temporary funding measure.

Speaker McCarthy is now exploring the possibility of a 45-day extension of federal spending into November, but even this approach is met with opposition from some Republicans.

The Senate, led by Senator Chuck Schumer, has initiated a procedure to pass its temporary funding measure and send it to the House with bipartisan support, with a test vote scheduled for Tuesday.

A bipartisan group in the House is also exploring options to bring an interim spending plan to the floor.

Should McCarthy rely on Democrats to pass a continuing resolution, he is likely to face challenges from the far-right faction.

Representative Tim Burchett warned that he might consider voting to oust the speaker if a continuing resolution were pursued.

Despite these challenges, some lawmakers maintain hope that an agreement on a stopgap funding bill is possible in time to prevent a government shutdown.

However, the situation remains complex, with some hard-line Republicans adamantly opposing any form of stopgap legislation.

As the House remains divided, President Biden and his administration continue to emphasize the urgency of resolving the budget impasse to prevent the looming government shutdown.

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