June 22, 2024

(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden said it was time for House Republicans to take action to prevent a government shutdown, seeking to raise pressure on Speaker Kevin McCarthy before a midnight Saturday funding deadline.

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“Funding for the government is just a basic responsibility,” Biden said Tuesday at a fundraiser in Atherton, California. “It’s time for Republicans in the House of Representatives to start doing their job.”

Biden accused McCarthy of going back on a deal the two negotiated earlier this year to avoid a potential US debt default that included limits on discretionary spending. He warned that a shutdown would have far reaching effects on Americans.

“Now because he’s worried about being speaker still, he’s trying to renegotiate it,” Biden said.

“A small group of extreme House Republicans, they don’t want to live up to that,” he said of the debt-limit deal. “Now Americans could be forced to pay a heavy price if they walk away and shut the government down.”

The US is on track for an Oct. 1 government shutdown if lawmakers fail to provide additional funding by the deadline. Lawmakers in the House and Senate made progress Tuesday on rival spending bills, with senators unveiling a bill that would extend funding to Nov. 17 and provide Ukraine aid. The Senate spending bill, though, has no clear path in the House.

Earlier: US Government Shutdown Nears as Lawmakers Make Incremental Gains

The House is focused on trying to pass fill-year funding bills for the State, Agriculture, Homeland Security and Defense departments, part of an effort by McCarthy to assuage hardline conservatives seeking cuts to federal spending.

McCarthy has said that after spending most of the week on these bills he plans to bring up a stopgap bill with cuts to domestic spending and changes to immigration law that are opposed by Senate Democrats and the White House.

Yet he still lacks the support for his own stopgap measure and he could face ouster by hardliners in his own party if he allows a bipartisan plan to come to a vote.

Biden also addressed the 2024 election, saying: “I’m looking forward to getting this underway.”

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