Joe Biden Calls on House Republicans to Honor Funding Commitments

President Joe Biden on Sunday entreated House Republicans, especially targeting Speaker Kevin McCarthy, to remain faithful to their pledges concerning government funding and support for Ukraine

by Faruk Imamovic
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Joe Biden Calls on House Republicans to Honor Funding Commitments
© Getty Images News/Tasos Katopodis

President Joe Biden on Sunday entreated House Republicans, especially targeting Speaker Kevin McCarthy, to remain faithful to their pledges concerning government funding and support for Ukraine. This call to action comes in the wake of a bill signed by the president that narrowly circumvented a government shutdown.

Down-to-the-Wire Negotiations

Discussing the recent deal, Biden emphasized his relief and appreciation for the bipartisan agreement that was inked just in the nick of time—mere minutes before the midnight expiration of the government’s funding.

Yet, he expressed his exasperation with the repeated brinksmanship that has come to typify such negotiations. “I’m sick and tired of the brinksmanship. So are the American people,” Biden articulated. With the impending deadline of November 17, the president highlighted the urgency of streamlining the negotiation process to avoid another round of tense, last-minute deliberations.

Urgent Plea for Ukraine Support

A significant part of Biden's address was a fervent plea to McCarthy and other leading Republicans. The president emphasized the necessity for a dedicated vote on funding to assist Ukraine in its ongoing conflict against a Russian incursion.

“I hope my friends on the other side keep their word about support for Ukraine,” Biden said earnestly. “We cannot, under any circumstance, allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted”. However, McCarthy's office remained somewhat ambiguous on this matter.

While they refrained from specifying whether the speaker had provided any guarantees to the White House about the Ukraine aid, they stated, “Speaker McCarthy has been clear and consistent: we have an obligation to fix the crisis at the border and to ensure any request for further aid to Ukraine is matched with a sound strategy and accountability”.

In light of the recent tumultuous negotiations, Biden described the situation as a “manufactured crisis,” noting the undue distress it would have imposed on millions of Americans. Expressing his disillusionment, he lamented, “The truth is we shouldn’t be here in the first place”.

Despite the breakthrough this time, Biden remained skeptical about the GOP's prompt action in the forthcoming negotiations to ensure the government remains functional post-November 17. “I’m under no illusions that they’ll be back again,” he commented, hinting at potential future standoffs.

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