The US government needs to avert a government shutdown all while dealing with the ongoing situation in Ukraine and rising inflation.
The government is due to shut down on Saturday unless Congress passes a new spending package. The current package being considered by lawmakers includes an aid package for Ukraine, which Democrats insist should be a part of the omnibus spending bill.
“The Ukrainians lack food, they lack clothing,” said Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer. “They lack shelter, electricity, medicines. We must get them these things. There’s a Holocaust going on.”
Republicans are in complete agreement that an aid package must be passed, but they think it should be passed separately from the overall spending bill.
“Democrats are holding (the aid package) hostage in the overall omnibus spending bill,” said Rep. Jim Banks on Fox News. “Instead of putting the humanitarian aid on the side because it has broad bipartisan support, I guarantee it would pass, they have put it as part of this large spending bill that a lot of us are going to oppose.”
Banks said the spending package would continue to raise inflation. A vote in the House on the bill will happen today.
President Biden said in his address to the nation on Tuesday that he is placing a ban on Russian oil imports into the U.S. as another measure to squeeze Russia’s economy. During the address, he pushed again for the nation to become energy independent through clean energy, including electric vehicles.
Banks accuses the president of asking foreign adversaries, such as Iran, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia to increase oil production in order to stave off soaring oil prices. He has even introduced a bill regarding the subject.
“When Joe Biden crushed the American energy industry on day one of his presidency, he left Americans dependent on our foreign adversaries for oil. This sent gas prices through the roof and allowed Putin to fund his unprovoked war,” Banks said.
He has authored the No Oil From Terrorists Act which would also ban the importing of oil from Iran.
Banks again called on the White House to allow for more drilling for oil on federal lands.
Biden said in his speech that any lack of drilling for new oil reserves is on the energy companies themselves. During the pandemic, oil production went down as by much as 12-percent and has still not returned to pre-pandemic levels because of investor pressure.