President Biden on Sunday expressed exasperation with Republicans in Congress after lawmakers narrowly averted a government shutdown and said he hoped the drama of the last few weeks has led Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to a “personal revelation.”
“Folks, the truth is 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 said at the White House after signing a temporary government funding bill late Saturday.
Biden referred to the near-government shutdown as a “manufactured crisis” caused by Republicans refusing to honor an agreement struck with the White House in May that outlined spending levels as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling.
“I’m sick and tired of the brinksmanship. And so are the American people,” Biden said. “I’ve been doing this, you all point it out to me a lot, a long time. I’ve never quite seen a Republican Congress or any Congress act like this.”
The House and Senate cleared a “clean” stopgap spending bill on Saturday, averting a government shutdown and capping off a chaotic three weeks in the Capitol that brought Washington hours away from a lapse in funding.
The continuing resolution funds the government at current spending levels until Nov. 17 and provides $16 billion in disaster relief.
It does not include any funding for Ukraine — which the White House and Democrats sought — or GOP provisions addressing border security, two items that had been central to government funding fights of the past month.
Biden on Sunday urged lawmakers to maintain America’s commitment to assisting Ukraine, which has received billions of dollars in military and financial support since Russia launched an unprovoked invasion in early 2022.
The president said he hoped to see congressional leaders bring Ukraine funding up for a vote now that the government funding fight has passed.
“Although the Speaker and an overwhelming majority of Congress have steadfastly supported Ukraine to defend itself against the aggression and brutality of the Russian’s attacks on women and children in addition to the military in Ukraine, there’s no Ukraine funding in this agreement. Despite that, I did not believe we could let millions of Americans go through the pain of a government shutdown,” Biden said.
“But let’s be clear: I hope my friends on the other side keep their word about support for Ukraine,” Biden continued. “They said they were going to support Ukraine in a separate vote. We cannot let under any circumstance let American support for Ukraine be interrupted.”