(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden called on Republicans to end their budget brinkmanship following the historic ouster of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy after he passed a bipartisan spending bill.
“More than anything, we need to change the poisonous atmosphere in Washington,” Biden said Wednesday. “We have strong disagreements, but we need to stop seeing each other as enemies.”
Biden urged Republicans in the House to work with Democrats to approve a government funding bill to avert a shutdown by the Nov. 17 deadline.
“We cannot and should not again be faced with an 11th hour decision,” the president said. “We know what we have to do and we have to get it done in a timely fashion.”
McCarthy’s ouster at the hands of ultra-conservative Republicans could raise the chances of a disruptive government shutdown, just weeks after Congress narrowly avoided one.
Without McCarthy as speaker, the path to a spending agreement is unclear. Hardline Republicans who disagreed with concessions McCarthy made to prevent a shutdown before the previous Sept. 30 deadline led a revolt against him.
Those dynamics could make it more difficult for whomever becomes the next speaker to strike a deal with Democrats.
Asked what advice he had for the next speaker, Biden said, “that’s above my pay grade.”
Read More: McCarthy Ousted as US House Speaker by Republican Dissidents
After seeking to pass a spending package with only Republican backing, McCarthy switched tacks and passed a stopgap bill with Democratic support that did not contain cuts and border-security measures demanded by GOP dissidents.
“While we should never have been in a situation in the first place, I’m grateful that leaders on both sides came together, including former Speaker McCarthy, to do the right thing,” Biden said.
McCarthy criticized Biden during a lengthy Tuesday night news conference, saying the president did not communicate with him enough during previous budget negotiations. Biden said McCarthy had spoken with Democratic leaders in Congress and any conversations wouldn’t have fixed the problems McCarthy faced with his conference.
“The idea that I was going to somehow convince McCarthy to change his view was not reasonable,” Biden said.
(Updates with additional Biden comments, details throughout)
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