Washington, Sept 29 (EFE). – The President of the United States, Joe Biden, threatened on Friday to veto an initiative to avoid a government shutdown by Republicans in the House of Representatives.
The initiative includes funds to strengthen security on the border with Mexico and limits asylum programs.
The White House accused Republicans in a statement of wasting time on “partisan games” instead of looking for a solution that can be supported by Democrats and Republicans to avoid a government shutdown.
The bill “includes harmful, partisan border legislation that would further exacerbate the challenges at the border,” said The White House.
In less than 48 hours, the government will run out of money, which would lead to the closure of agencies, museums and national parks, while hundreds of thousands of federal employees would be temporarily left without work and pay.
A shutdown seems inevitable at this point, and the White House has already urged federal agencies to prepare.
Meanwhile, the focus is on the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Republican Kevin McCarthy, who is promoting the bill that Biden has threatened to veto that could extend government until October 31.
The bill would cut funding for public administration by 8%, but would increase funding to strengthen the border with Mexico and fight drug trafficking cartels, while limiting the use of the “CBP One” app created by the Biden administration to expedite asylum cases.
“Another reason for the Stop Gap is to address President Biden’s historic failure on the southern border,” the Speaker said at a press conference on Friday.
However, it is unclear whether McCarthy has enough votes to approve the measure, as the hard wing of the party, closer to former President Donald Trump (2017-2021), is reluctant to accept a temporary measure that funds the government beyond September 30.
The goal of Republican hardliners is to undo the deal reached in June by McCarthy and Biden, by which Congress suspended the United States debt limit in exchange for the White House accepting limits on government spending.
Pro-Trump Republicans didn’t like the deal and are seeking further cuts, like a government spending limit of $1.47 trillion for fiscal year 2024, which would be $120 over the agreed cuts.
But even if the Republican majority in the lower house manages to pass Mc Carthy’s government funding plan, the Democratic-majority Senate is unwilling to consider it.
Instead, the Senate is currently focused on advancing an initiative supported by a majority of Democrats and Republicans that would temporarily extend government funding for six weeks, until November 17.
However, it does not appear likely that this proposal will be approved before the government runs out of money at midnight on Sunday, October 1, when the new fiscal year begins.
The main obstacle in this process is Republican Senator Rand Paul, who is trying to slow down the approval of the project because it includes military aid to Ukraine, something that both he and the Pro-trump wing of the party oppose.
If a deal can’t be reached, this would be the first government shutdown since 2019, the longest in US history, which lasted 35 days.
A shutdown that occurred during Trump’s presidency, due to disagreements between Democrats and Republicans over funding for the wall he wanted to build on the Mexican border.