Biden believes ‘govt shutdown not inevitable’ even as Democrats & Republicans fight over spending cuts
Washington, Sep 29 (IANS) US President Joe Biden strongly feels that a “Government Shutdown” is not inevitable even as three days remain for the treasury’s closure as democrats and republicans continue to fight over spending cuts and block a continuing resolution that can keep the coffers open to fund the government agencies.
With just three days to go for the closure from today and the US Treasury and funded agencies going into emergency preparedness, Biden said on Wednesday that he does not believe a government shutdown is “inevitable”.
“I don’t think anything is inevitable in politics,” Biden said when pressed on the likelihood of a shutdown by reporters.
“If I knew that, I would’ve done it already,” he added when asked what the White House can do to prevent a shutdown. Biden made the statement during a meeting with his Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
The President in the meeting asked Congress to pass government funding legislation to prevent the public from losing access to healthcare and other critical services, media reports said.
Congress has time only till the weekend to pass the legislation to keep the government open and agencies to receive funds. The US crossed the $33 trillion dollar debt limit this year again, just like last year, prompting Republicans to raise a war cry to slash government expenditure and democrats unrelenting as it involved social welfare programmes and doing so would erode their voter base in a pre-election year.
As Senators pushed for the continuing resolution to pass in both senate and house, Biden was in San Francisco raising cash for his presidential campaign in 2024, while former President Donald Trump was muscling his power in Michigan with republican voters where a near 10 day United Auto Workers union strike is on that has spread to 20 cities in 38 plants.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced on Tuesday night that the Senate had advanced a bipartisan, temporary funding bill that includes emergency disaster relief and roughly $6 billion in aid for Ukraine, as requested by the White House, the Washington Examiner reported.
While the bill could pass in the senate as the democrats hold a 51 t0 49 majority, it faces an uphill task in the Republican led House of Representatives where it holds the majority by a slender 9 seats to 222 to 213.
Hardliners and extreme right wing Republican lawmakers oppose anymove toextend any additional aid to Ukraine. The President has wanted an additional $24 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine to be included in the legislation.
In the longer 35 day government shutdown that ended in January 2019,the Small Business Administration was unable to approve loans, creating a massive backlog leading to financial insecurity for hundreds of small business owners.
Major federal contractors servicing critical agencies such as NASA and the Department of the Interior became insolvent and had to fire employees – threatening economic livelihoods and our national security, Bradley commented.