WASHINGTON: The White House wants to make sure that any blame for a potential government shutdown falls at the opposite end of Pennsylvania Avenue, notably on House Republicans. After all, it is House Republicans who are unwilling to respect a bipartisan spending deal from earlier this year and who have been rendered ineffective by their inability to enact a financing plan.
Joe Biden, the president, hopes that other Americans share his perspective. At a time of utter political polarization, when many Americans have dug themselves into party corners regardless of the facts, it is a tricky notion.
The timing of a shutdown would be problematic for Vice President Joe Biden, who is running for re-election and already confronts low poll ratings and economic worries in part because of his message of steady leadership in Washington.
By the end of this coming Saturday, federal employees won’t be paid, personnel shortages may impede air travel, and some of the most needy families in the nation won’t be able to get food assistance.
Shalanda Young, the White House budget director, responded “absolutely not” when asked if Biden should take responsibility for the closure, accusing Republicans of being careless with people’s lives.
She said, “The guy who takes out the trash in my office won’t get paid.” “That is actual. And that’s what aggravates me.
In a presentation to friends on Thursday, Anita Dunn, Biden’s senior advisor, attributed the impending shutdown to “the most extreme fringe” of House Republicans. She remarked, “We have to hold them accountable” and “make sure they pay the political price.”
She chastised supporters of the Make America Great Again group while speaking from the White House, although she refrained from mentioning the term.
Dunn referred to legal instructions meant to assure adherence to the Hatch Act, which forbids political activity while government personnel are on the job, and stated, “We’re not allowed to actually use the M-word here in the White House right now.” But everyone in this room is aware of my meaning. It has four letters. It’s a M thing. A completes it. There is an AG at the center.
So those are the folks who are refusing to do their jobs and purposefully shutting down the government, Dunn said.
The impasse on lifting the debt ceiling earlier this year led to the current predicament. In order to issue debt, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, insisted that Biden negotiate expenditure reductions.
After first refusing, Biden conceded to budget negotiations and came to a bipartisan agreement that prevented the first-ever default. However, a section of House Republicans now wants even larger expenditure cutbacks, and if they don’t get their way, they’ve vowed to remove McCarthy as speaker.
The White House has so far declined to engage in negotiations, citing an existing agreement that House Republicans are refusing to abide with. Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary, stated on Friday that Republicans were “solely to blame” for any shutdown and that this was “a basic fact.”
Officials within the administration have also emphasized how a shutdown would result in missed military pay checks and a delay in providing aid to victims of natural disasters.
Republicans themselves have provided plenty of unexpected assistance to the White House messaging strategy by slamming their hard-right counterparts.
Rep. Mike Lawler of New York, a Republican, stated: “Just throwing a temper tantrum and stomping your feet — frankly, not only is it wrong, it’s just pathetic.”
Recently, even McCarthy said that some of his caucus members “just want to burn the whole place down.”
At a fundraiser on Wednesday outside of San Francisco, Biden asserted that McCarthy is more concerned with preserving his position as speaker than with keeping the government open.
The speaker, in my opinion, is choosing between his speakership and American interests, Biden added.
While Trump was president, Washington saw partial shutdowns last up to 35 days, but Biden warned his funders that Republicans would shut down the government for weeks or even months.
“It would be disastrous for us, especially if it became long-term,” he declared.
The current scenario is very different from the 2013 government shutdown, according to Romina Boccia, the director of budget and entitlement policy at the Cato Institute and a veteran of Washington’s fiscal disputes.
Republicans at the time were unified in their efforts to obstruct the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Even then, it was unsuccessful. Boccia noted that when the shutdown began, “it didn’t provide any more leverage,” and that “Republicans caved and reopened the government when they learned the hard way that they weren’t going to get their way.”
“It’s not clear what they’re trying to get out of a government shutdown this time,” she added. Everything simply appears to be broken.
According to several surveys done in advance of the anticipated shutdown, Biden and Democrats in Congress could be held mostly responsible for it. However, Americans in general have two interests that contradict with reference to the government budget.
According to a study by the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, over 60% of them believe that the government spends too much money, but majorities also want increased funding for Social Security, health care, and infrastructure. This gives some Republicans the opportunity to claim that the public supports their proposed spending reductions, but it also justifies expenditure on initiatives that are expected to result in bigger deficits in the future.
The expected shutdown coincides with Biden stepping up his reelection campaign for the next year. As inflation has decreased and the unemployment rate has remained low over the previous few months, the president has assumed full responsibility for the economy’s success.
But new dangers are on the horizon, and the majority of Americans feel pessimistic about the future of their nation.
The cost of mortgages is at a 22-year high. Gas prices are rising as a result of the almost $91 per barrel oil price. Autoworkers who are unionized are probably starting their third week of strikes. Repayments on student loans have begun again. The funding provided by the pandemic for daycare centers is about to expire, which might lead to a wave of closures that would affect parents who are employed.
A shutdown of the government would add to the instability and hurt millions more homes. Republicans are to fault, according to White House officials who would want to avoid a shutdown.
Young reaffirmed his optimism on Friday. I’m still a believer in optimism.