‘We shouldn’t have gotten here in the first place’

President Joe Biden slammed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans on Sunday, blaming them for bringing the country to the brink of crisis after Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown Saturday evening.

“Last night Congress passed the spending bill that’s gonna keep the government open. And it’s good news for the American people because the government will not shut down and a needless crisis will have been averted saving millions, millions of Americans, needless pain,” Biden said Sunday during a speech at the White House.

“The truth is we shouldn’t be here in the first place. We shouldn’t have gotten here in the first place. It’s time to end governing by crisis, and keep your word when you give it in the Congress,” Biden added, referencing a budget agreement he made with McCarthy in May.

Congress managed to avert a government shutdown Saturday with an 11th-hour stopgap funding bill that will keep the government open for 45 days. After refusing for weeks to budge on negotiations over legislation to fund the government, McCarthy suddenly reversed course Saturday and called up a bill that abandoned the border policies and spending cuts he promised to include to appease conservative hard-liners.

Biden signed the bill Saturday night, minutes before the midnight deadline. In the effort to avoid what could have been a disastrous government shutdown, Biden was forced to leave one of his top priorities, aid for Ukraine, in limbo.

“While the speaker and an overwhelming majority of the Congress have steadfastly supported Ukraine to defend itself against the aggression and brutality of the Russian attack on women and children, in addition to military in Ukraine, there is no Ukrainian funding in this agreement,” Biden said on Sunday. “Despite that, I did not believe we could let a million Americans go through the pain of a government shutdown. But let’s be clear. I hope my friends on the other side keep their word about support for Ukraine.”

On Saturday, a White House official told POLITICO that they expect McCarthy to bring a separate bill to the floor for funding to Ukraine “shortly.”


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