1 of 3 | The White House on Wednesday warned of the threat of a looming government shutdown, while urging "extreme Republicans" to pass through a spending package. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 20 (UPI) -- The White House on Wednesday warned of the looming threat of a government shutdown, urging House Republicans to approve a spending package.
In a statement, the White House blamed a group of "extreme House Republicans" for holding up the legislation that would fund the government, warning that a shutdown would "undermine our economy and national security, create needless uncertainty for families and businesses and have damaging consequences across the country."
"Extreme House Republicans are consumed by chaos and marching our country toward a government shutdown that would damage our communities, economy, and national security," the White House said. "Instead of following the bipartisan example of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, extreme House Republicans continue to demand a reckless laundry list of partisan proposals as a condition of keeping the government open."
The White House said the efforts of a shutdown would be wide-reaching, hampering oversight by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other agencies.
It also noted that service members and law enforcement officers would be forced to work without pay along with other government employees such as Transportation Safety Officers, which could lead to travel delays at airports.
The group of Republicans promoting the ideals of former President Donald Trump, sometimes known as MAGA Republicans, have blocked any progress on a defense appropriations bill and on a continuing resolution to fund the government unless their demands are met.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said during his weekly press conference, urged his colleagues in the lower chamber to avoid a shutdown staining the party's reputation.
"We're waiting to see what the House is going to do on a continuing resolution. I think all of you know I'm not a fan of government shutdowns. I've seen a few of them over the years, they never have produced a policy change and they've always been a loser for Republicans, politically," he said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters, that the House GOP can take action to avert a shutdown.
"It doesn't have to be the MAGA way or a shutdown. House Republicans have a choice in the matter, between pursuing real chances for bipartisanship and catering to the hard right. Each time, they have chosen to empower the hard right; they've chosen dysfunction and chaos," Schumer said.
In August the House Freedom Caucus laid out three demands they say must be met before they agree to support funding the government, including defense.
Those ideological demands include unfounded and unproven allegations without specific evidence on addressing "the unprecedented weaponization of the Justice Department and FBI to focus them on prosecuting real criminals instead of conducting political with hunts and targeting law-abiding citizens."
One vague and undefined demand in exchange for simply passing a funding bill is to "End the Left's cancerous woke policies in the Pentagon undermining our military's core war-fighting mission."
President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 46th annual gala at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Thursday. Photo by Ron Sachs/UPI | License Photo