President Biden on Wednesday called on all elected officials in Washington to act responsibly and above partisanship moving forward after the election of House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.).
“We need to move swiftly to address our national security needs and to avoid a shutdown in 22 days. Even though we have real disagreements about important issues, there should be mutual effort to find common ground wherever we can,” Biden said in a statement.
“This is a time for all of us to act responsibly, and to put the good of the American people and the everyday priorities of American families above any partisanship,” he added.
Biden called Johnson on Wednesday afternoon to congratulate him on the election, and the president “expressed that he looks forward to working together to find common ground on behalf of the American people,” according to the White House.
The House elected Johnson on Wednesday, finally coalescing around a new leader after a chaotic three weeks of struggling to settle on a nominee and paralyzing the lower chamber.
Biden bashed House Republicans for taking 22 days “determining who would lead their conference” while he says he was working on national security issues like the war in Israel, Ukraine, issues at the border, as well as on investments for Americans.
Congress now faces a Nov. 17 deadline to fund the government and the White House is asking lawmakers to approve a $100 billion national security supplemental to support Israel and Ukraine and is expected to also ask for a domestic supplemental funding package.
The president in his statement said that he and first lady Jill Biden congratulate Johnson on his election and reiterated what he said when former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was ousted earlier this month: that he will seek to work with whoever is the next Speaker.
“That’s a principle I have always held to, and that I’ve acted on — delivering major bipartisan legislation on infrastructure, outcompeting China, gun reform, and veterans care,” Biden said, highlighting bipartisan legislation from the first two years in the White House.
“I restated my willingness to continue working across the aisle after Republicans won the majority in the House last year,” Biden added. “By the same token, the American people have made clear that they expect House Republicans to work with me and with Senate Democrats to govern across the aisle — to protect our urgent national security interests and grow our economy for the middle class.”
Earlier Wednesday, Biden said he’s not concerned about Johnson attempting to overturn the future 2024 election results, given Johnson challenged the 2020 election.
Johnson has been the House GOP’s vice chairman, a junior leadership position, since 2021 and he is a former chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in the House.
Updated at 4:57 p.m.
Source: The Hill