Biden focuses on working towards bipartisan agreements in his meeting with the governors
Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images
President Joe Biden received many of the governors of the nation at the White House on Friday and urged bipartisan efforts to help make better use of the funds provided by his administration.
Speaking at the National Governors Association (NGA) winter meeting in the East Room of the White House, Biden said much of his agenda could not be implemented without bipartisan efforts, adding that the next step now is to spend the money in a manner that benefits each state and its people.
“Today I met with a bipartisan group of governors to outline our efforts to rebuild our infrastructure and local economies. With your partnership, we are going to finish the job,” Biden said.
“One of the things that we have an opportunity to do this year is show that this is not a broken system,” Biden told the governors. "I think we have a lot to cover, and frankly, I think the success of all of us, Democrats and Republicans, will be measured in part not by what we do or pass, but by whether we're able to implement what we've already done."
New Jersey Democratic Governor Phil Murphy said during the meeting that there is a "certain pride" within the NGA that “we can consistently come together and refute the narrative that politics has become utterly divisive.”
On the debt ceiling
Biden told the governors at Friday's meeting that he doesn't think congressional Republicans are "serious" about playing hardball on the debt ceiling.
“I believe that we can be fiscally responsible without threatening our country,” Biden said. "I don't think my colleagues are really serious, I hope they aren't, about holding the debt hostage to the cuts they want to make on certain things that I can or don't want to do."
The United States hit the debt ceiling in January, forcing the federal government to take extraordinary measures to keep the government paying its bill. The federal government faces the possibility of a catastrophic default later this summer. if Congress cannot reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling.
Ahead of face-to-face meetings with governors, the White House highlighted a recent NGA statement calling on Congress to “raise or suspend the debt limit as soon as possible”. Hardline Republicans have argued that the lifting of the debt limit is tied to spending cuts, and the NGA's statement is in line with Biden's repeated call for Congress to reach consensus on the matter.
“Failure by the Treasury Department to meet its federal obligations would create significant uncertainty and risk for American citizens, government services, and global financial markets,” continued the statement from the NGA, which represents all 55 governors. of the nation
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