President Joe Biden and his administration are placing the blame for a potential government shutdown squarely on a “handful of extremist Republicans.” Biden’s advisers have decided to take a hands-off approach to lawmakers’ deliberations to fund the government, expecting that if the Republican-led House fails to reach consensus, they will be held responsible for any disruption caused. Biden emphasized that a government shutdown would disproportionately impact the Black community, as it would result in a lack of funding for nutritional assistance programs and a halt in enforcement work on housing discrimination. The White House plans to dispatch Cabinet officials to outline the broad range of ramifications of a shutdown, including flight delays and the closure of child care centers, in an effort to convey the severity of the situation to the American public.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted how a shutdown could impact programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which provides support to millions of low-income children and pregnant women. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg warned that service members, air traffic controllers, and other essential workers would not receive their pay during a shutdown. The Biden administration supports the efforts of Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Mitch McConnell to work towards a short-term spending agreement to avoid a shutdown, with Biden believing that a deal brokered by Senate leadership is the best path forward. The White House intends to emphasize who is responsible for a potential government shutdown, aligning with the strategy employed during the debt ceiling negotiations earlier this year.
The White House is bracing itself for a potential government shutdown, as Republican members have not presented any realistic proposals to extend funding for the federal government. President Biden and his allies plan to repeatedly point fingers at those responsible for the potential chaos and disruption caused by a shutdown. During the debt ceiling negotiations, Biden faced criticism for his handling of the situation, with many perceiving him as not acting responsibly. However, this time around, the White House asserts that Republicans have failed to take necessary actions to avert a shutdown. Biden maintains communication with congressional leaders in both parties and remains committed to supporting Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict with Russia. The White House warns of the dire consequences of a shutdown, including the denial of benefits and opportunities for low-income individuals and disruptions in various sectors such as transportation, agriculture, and housing.