Biden greets congressional leaders on a lame sprint

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden welcomed congressional leaders to the White House on Tuesday to discuss his agenda for the rest of the year as he seeks to secure government funding and secure more victories. legislative elections before Democrats lost control of the House on Jan. 3.

The meeting comes as the government faces a Dec. 16 shutdown if lawmakers cannot agree on funding legislation to keep the lights on. Biden also wants this legislation to provide additional funding for the COVID-19 response and bolster U.S. support for Ukraine’s economy and defense against Russian invasion. Biden also called on Congress to step in and impose a tentative agreement between the railroads and workers to avert a potentially crippling rail strike on Dec. 9.

« We’re going to work together, hopefully, to fund the government, » Biden told lawmakers, also stressing the importance of Ukraine and pandemic funding.

Biden said the « economy is in jeopardy » due to the impending railroad strike, and he said he was « confident » that Congress could act to avert it. « There’s a lot to do, including resolving the train strike, » he said as he welcomed Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Republican House Minority Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Roosevelt Room.

McCarthy is pushing to become a speaker in January, though he must first overcome dissent in the GOP conference to win a floor vote on Jan. 3.

Congress is also passing legislation to codify same-sex marriage, raise the debt ceiling and reform the voter count law in an effort to prevent another attempt like in 2020 when then-President Donald Trump and lawmakers allies tried to overturn the will of voters in the presidential election which he lost to Biden.

« We’re going to find other common ground, I hope, » Biden added, « because the American people want us to work together. »

Republicans are expected to hold a narrow majority in the House in January, while Democrats will retain control of the Senate. A runoff in Georgia next week will determine whether Biden’s party holds a 51-49 majority or whether Vice President Kamala Harris will be needed to break a 50-50 tie.

One unlikely element is the ban on so-called assault weapons – an inaccurate term to describe a group of long, semi-automatic rifles or long guns, like an AR-15, that can fire 30 rounds in quick succession. without recharging. By comparison, New York City Police Department officers carry a handgun that fires about half.

The House passed legislation in July to revive a 1990s gun ban with vocal support from Biden. But the 60-vote Senate threshold means some Republicans have to agree, and most strongly oppose it. One of the problems is the proliferation of weapons today; There are many more styles and types on the market than in the 1990s.

Zeke Miller and Colleen Long, The Associated Press


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