Days Before Shutdown Deadline, Biden Summons Congressional Leaders for Talks

President Biden will convene the top four congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday as lawmakers swiftly run out of time to strike a deal to avert another partial government shutdown.

The president plans to discuss the urgency of legislation to keep federal funding going past midnight on Friday, as well as his requests for billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine and Israel, said Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary.

“A basic, basic priority or duty of Congress is to keep the government open,” Ms. Jean-Pierre said. “So, that’s what the president wants to see. He’ll have those conversations.”

The spending bill is being held up by demands from hard-right lawmakers in the House, including measures to restrict abortion access, that many members will not support. Ultraconservatives have brought the government to the brink of a shutdown or a partial shutdown three times in the past six months as they try to win more spending cuts and conservative policy conditions written into how federal money is spent.

The result is that Congress has relied on short-term, stopgap spending bills passed by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to keep the government open, putting off a longer-term agreement for weeks at a time. Each time, the Republican speaker has assured his conference that House Republicans would fight to secure more policy victories in the next round of negotiations.

With another pair of funding deadlines approaching at the end of this week and next week, lawmakers are now laboring to try to reach an agreement to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year.

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