Tensions Between Biden and Johnson Deepen Shutdown Concerns

(IntegrityTimes.com) – Threats of a partial or total government shutdown are at the forefront as a March 1 and 8 deadline approaches. President Biden and House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., have only spoken a few times since October when Johnson was elected to the position, which some believe has affected negotiations.

According to Politico, President Biden values the personal relationship aspect of dealmaking, but some believe that it is not necessary in this day and age. The Biden administration has resorted to publicly pressuring Johnson to bring a vote for the foreign aid bill recently passed by the Senate instead of honoring Johnson’s request for a meeting.

On February 27, the pair finally met up when Biden sat down with the leaders of their respective chambers to discuss how to come to a bipartisan agreement to fund the government and provide foreign assistance. Biden told Johnson, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., that “the need is urgent” regarding funding for Ukraine. He also noted that the Iron Dome interceptors needed to be replenished for Israel to defend itself from incoming rockets.

Other discussions included the passage of several spending bills for government agencies. Republicans and Democrats have listed multiple demands that must be included before the bills are brought to a vote, otherwise, another continuing resolution might be the only solution to avoid a shutdown. However, some are opposed to a continuing resolution, which would automatically cut spending by one percent. Biden argued that the economy would be significantly damaged if the government shut down, urging the leaders to come to a consensus.

Schumer spoke to the press after the meeting, claiming that progress had been made. He also told the press that Speaker Johnson “unequivocally” wants to make every effort to avert a shutdown. Johnson also spoke to the press, arguing that securing the southern border was the top priority for the United States.

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