Sen. Michael Bennet warns Democrats could lose White House and Congress with Biden

Sen. Michael Bennet warns Democrats could lose White House and Congress with Biden

Sen. Michael Bennet has issued a stark warning to his fellow Democrats, cautioning that the party risks losing control of both the White House and Congress if they continue to back President Joe Biden. Bennet’s concerns come amid a turbulent political landscape, highlighted by the recent scramble to avert a government shutdown.

President Joe Biden signed a short-term funding bill late Saturday night, narrowly avoiding a government shutdown just before the midnight deadline. The Senate approved the measure after the House unexpectedly passed a bipartisan bill earlier in the day. This bill required the support of two-thirds of House members to pass under an expedited process.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s position is now precarious. Hardline conservatives have threatened to remove him from his leadership role if he continues to rely on Democratic votes to prevent a shutdown. The stopgap bill will keep the government operational through November 17 and includes aid for natural disasters but excludes additional funding for Ukraine, a point of contention for some conservatives. The Biden administration has warned that the lack of Ukraine funding could have serious repercussions for the ongoing war.

Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado, briefly delayed the vote on the bill due to his concerns about the absence of Ukraine funding. Bipartisan Senate leaders later issued a joint statement committing to vote on further Ukraine aid “in the coming weeks.” House Democratic leadership also expects McCarthy to bring a separate Ukraine aid bill to a vote when the House reconvenes.

McCarthy’s decision to put a bill on the floor that garnered Democratic support has put his speakership at risk. Hardline conservatives are expected to push for a vote to remove him, although the timing remains uncertain. McCarthy, however, remains defiant, challenging his detractors to try to oust him while arguing that he did what was necessary to govern effectively.

The political drama was further complicated by an incident involving New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who accidentally pulled a fire alarm in a House office building shortly before the vote on the funding bill. Bowman explained that he mistakenly thought the alarm would open a door. An investigation into the incident is underway, and some Republicans are calling for him to be censured.

The stopgap funding bill, which Biden signed, extends government funding until November 17 but does not include new aid for Ukraine. This omission has drawn criticism from various quarters, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who called for more Ukraine funding in a statement on Saturday night.

Sen. Michael Bennet’s objections to the bill’s lack of Ukraine funding led to a bipartisan statement from Senate leaders, reaffirming their commitment to sustained support for Ukraine. Bennet emphasized the importance of sending a message that the dysfunction in Congress does not reflect a lack of bipartisan commitment to supporting Ukraine.

Bennet’s warning to Democrats about the potential loss of the White House and Congress if they continue to support Biden underscores the broader political challenges facing the party. The recent scramble to avert a government shutdown has highlighted deep divisions within both parties, and the absence of Ukraine funding in the stopgap bill has added another layer of complexity to the political landscape.

As the November 17 deadline approaches, the pressure on Congress to find a more permanent solution to government funding will only intensify. The bipartisan commitment to vote on further Ukraine aid in the coming weeks will be closely watched, as will the fate of McCarthy’s speakership.

Sen. Michael Bennet’s warning serves as a reminder of the high stakes involved in the current political climate. With the 2024 elections on the horizon, the decisions made in the coming weeks and months will have far-reaching implications for both parties and the country as a whole.

Source: CNN

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