As the deadline to fund the federal government draws closer, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that it was “very important” that he meet with President Joe Biden.
On Tuesday, McCarthy said a federal spending bill isn’t the only topic they needed to talk about, as security at the southern border with Mexico should also be on the docket.
As he said when speaking to reporters this week:
“I think it would be very important to have a meeting with the president.”
That statement came following one reporter asking him why he wasn’t considering negotiating a deal with Democrats in the House and Senate to meet the September 30 deadline to continue funding the government. Many hard-line GOPers in the House have said they were opposed to another short-term stopgap funding bill, especially one that included money for things such as additional Ukraine aid.
McCarthy responded to that question by asking:
“Why don’t we just cut a deal with the president?”
Recently, McCarthy has focused his party’s fight over continuing to fund the government around the migrant crisis at the southern border. Leaders from the House GOP unveiled a continuing resolution that would fund the government on a short-term basis. It included a lot of the party’s big priorities, such as a border bill they passed back in May that hasn’t yet been taken up by the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.
In speaking with reporters Tuesday, McCarthy reiterated that Biden easily could resolve the crisis at the southern border simply by reversing some of the policies he’s enacted. As the Speaker said:
“Listen, the president, all he has to do, it’s only actions that he has to take. He can do it like that. He changed all the policies on the border. He can change those. We can keep government open and finish out the work that we have done.”
McCarthy said later on Tuesday that he would’ve liked to meet with Biden a long time ago, and that he’s “been trying on many different issues.” He also added that he hasn’t met with the president in “a little while,” but did say that he often speaks with Biden’s staff members.
At the moment, both political parties know that the only way to keep the government funded is to pass a continuing resolution. That would be a short-term funding bill, which would still necessitate a long-term funding bill. Negotiations, then, are likely to happen again in the future, even if the sides come to an agreement this week.
While McCarthy tried to get together a bill that the House could pass with GOP support and be sent to the Senate, some members of his party have pushed back against it. GOP leadership has come up with a second proposal after their first one failed to advance, but details of that bill haven’t been released as of yet.
Time is ticking on getting a deal done to keep the government funded, and some progress needs to be made soon.