Biden: Government Shutdown Threat A Trump-Manufactured "Crisis"
With a looming deadline, Congress approved a short-term funding bill on Saturday (Sunday, October 1, 2023, in Manila) to keep federal agencies open through November 17, and President Joe Biden promptly signed it.
Biden described the signing of the deal as "Good news for the American people." I Photo: President Joe Biden Facebook
Speaker Kevin McCarthy withdrew demands for significant spending cuts but also reduced aid for Ukraine, as reported by Josh Boak and Chris Megerian for the Associated Press (AP).
In a statement, Biden expressed that the bill was "good news for the American people."
He added, "However, I want to be clear: we should never have been in this position in the first place. Just a few months ago, Speaker McCarthy and I reached a budget agreement to prevent precisely this type of manufactured crisis… For weeks, extreme House Republicans attempted to back away from that agreement by demanding drastic cuts that would have had devastating consequences for millions of Americans. They failed."
If Congress had not taken action by the end of the day, federal workers would have ceased to receive their pay, air travel might have been disrupted due to staffing shortages, and food benefits would have paused for some of the country's most vulnerable families.
When asked on Friday whether Biden should bear any responsibility for the potential shutdown, White House budget director Shalanda Young stated, "Absolutely not," and accused Republicans of being careless with people's lives.
She said, "The individual who picks up the trash in my office wouldn't receive a paycheck. That's a real concern, and that's what makes me angry." Anita Dunn, Biden's senior adviser, attributed the threat of a shutdown to "the most extreme fringe" of House Republicans during a presentation to allies on Thursday.
She emphasized that "we must hold them accountable" and "ensure they face the political consequences." Donald Trump, whom Biden defeated in 2020, was the architect of the government shutdown plot.