President Joe Biden and his administration are placing the blame for a potential government shutdown on a small group of extremist Republicans. Biden’s advisers have chosen to take a hands-off approach to lawmakers’ deliberations, with the expectation being that if the Republican-led House fails to reach a consensus, they will be held responsible for the resulting disruption. Biden himself has targeted this group of Republicans, emphasizing the negative impact a shutdown would have on various aspects of society, particularly the Black community. Cabinet officials, such as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, are also warning about the consequences of a shutdown, including cuts to food programs and loans for farmers.
The White House’s strategy is to lay out the potential ramifications of a government shutdown in order to shift the blame onto these extremist Republicans. Biden and his allies are committed to supporting Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia, but the amount of funding for Ukraine aid in a short-term spending bill would likely be smaller than the initial request. Biden believes that a deal brokered by Senate leadership, rather than one aimed at appeasing fringe Republicans in the House, is the best way forward. The president remains in contact with congressional leaders from both parties. The White House hopes to secure supplemental funding for Ukraine alongside other key priorities through a continuing resolution.
Despite the White House’s efforts, there has been no realistic proposal from Republican members to extend funding for the federal government. As the deadline approaches, the administration is preparing to point fingers and place blame on those responsible for any potential shutdown. Biden faced criticism in the past during debt ceiling negotiations, but Republicans were more unified in their position back then. Now, the White House argues that the Republicans have dropped the ball. Ultimately, the administration is pushing for House Republicans to take the necessary actions to avert a shutdown.