Americans forced to ‘pay the price’: Biden warns of government shutdown

US President Joe Biden has issued a stark warning ahead of a potential government shutdown that all citizens of the country will be forced to “pay the price” if congressional Republicans fail to act.

Speaking at a bipartisan meeting in Washington on Saturday night, Biden blamed “a small group of extreme Republicans” for a budget impasse that has placed the US government a week away from a shutdown, urging the lawmakers to solve the issue.

“Now a small group of extreme Republicans don’t want to live up to the deal so now everyone in America could be forced to pay the price,” he said.

“Funding the government is one of the most basic responsibilities of Congress. It’s time for Republicans to start doing the job America elected them to do. Let’s get this done,” Biden added.

A shutdown would harm food safety, cancer research and children’s programs, Biden said, adding that ensuring that the government is funded is one of the core functions of Congress.

“It’s time for Republicans to start doing the job America elected them to do. Let’s get this done,” he said.

US lawmakers have until midnight on September 30 to reach an agreement on a spending bill, before funding for government services is due to dry up.

Biden said the deal reached between congressional Republican leadership, Kevin McCarthy and his administration in May would have funded essential domestic and national security priorities and still cut the budget deficit by $1 trillion over the next 10 years, Biden said.

A government shutdown would put the finances of hundreds of thousands of workers at federal parks, museums, and other sites at risk, but it could also carry significant political costs for Biden, who is running for re-election.

While such a plan is supported by Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, it is radically opposed by some members of the House.

The budget vote in Congress regularly turns into a standoff between the two parties, with each camp using the prospect of a shutdown to obtain concessions from the other — until a solution is found at the last minute

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