White House says far-right Republicans solely to blame as government shutdown looms

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Shalanda Young, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, speaks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 29, 2023.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

WASHINGTON — White House officials blasted far-right House Republicans on Friday for taking the federal government to the brink of a shutdown this weekend.

“Extreme House Republicans are solely to blame for marching us toward a shutdown,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

Jean-Pierre’s comments came as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., failed to get enough of the GOP caucus members to pass a stop-gap funding bill that would have at least given the appearance of progress to avoiding a shutdown early Sunday morning.

“The people that McCarthy needs to talk to is his own caucus,” Pierre said as she dismissed the idea of President Joe Biden negotiating with McCarthy on a funding deal.

“That’s who he needs to have a conversation with, not the president.”

Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young said, “One side — House Republicans — are refusing to live up to their end of the bargain.”

“They have turned their back on the deal. They are on an island entirely by themselves and entirely of their own making,” Young said. “Their chaos and their chaos alone is now threatening to push us into a shutdown.”

“Extreme House Republicans need to stop playing political games with people’s lives, keep their promise and keep the government open,” she said.