Biden slams ‘extreme’ Republicans as shutdown looms

WASHINGTON (Reuters): “Funding the government is one of those basic responsibilities of Congress. And it’s time for Republicans to start doing the job America elected them to do.”

US President Joe Biden slammed what he called “extreme Republicans” in Congress over the weekend, saying the party’s lawmakers needed to take immediate steps to prevent a government shutdown ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline.

At a congressional awards dinner on Saturday, Biden said Republicans needed to live up to the deal reached between his administration and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in May.

“We agreed to spending levels that the government will fund essential domestic and national security priorities while still cutting the deficit by $1 trillion over the next decade. Now, a small group of extreme Republicans don’t want to live up to the deal. So now everyone in America could be forced to pay the price.”

Warring factions within the Republican Party in the the House of Representatives on Sunday showed no signs of coming together to pass a stopgap funding bill.

Congress so far has failed to finish any of the 12 regular spending bills to fund federal agency programs in the fiscal year starting on Oct. 1.

McCarthy will push an ambitious plan this week to win approval of four large bills, including military and homeland security funding, that he hopes would demonstrate enough progress to far-right Republicans to win their support for a stop-gap spending bill as well.

But some of the far-right holdouts, who want deep spending cuts that go beyond the deal passed in May, showed no sign of relenting.

They want around $120 billion in additional cuts just for the new fiscal year, which could hit programs ranging from education and environmental protection to Internal Revenue Service enforcement and medical research.