Biden calls Johnson, Schumer for White House meeting as congressional chaos stirs government shutdown fears

President Biden is calling all four congressional leaders to the White House on Tuesday as the federal government stares down the barrel of a partial shutdown at the end of this week.

The president is convening the meeting with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., to discuss the ongoing negotiations on how to fund the government, which appear to have gotten rocky over the last several days. 

Johnson and Schumer were expected to announce some kind of deal on Sunday to fund government agencies and departments whose current dollars expire on March 1. The remaining funding expires March 8.

However, no compromise was announced over the weekend; instead, both Johnson and Schumer released public statements blaming the other side for the delays.

Johnson’s office confirmed to Fox News Digital that he accepted Biden’s invitation and will be at the White House on Tuesday.

It comes after the speaker accused Senate Democrats of making last-minute demands in the government spending negotiations. In a Sunday evening statement to Fox News Digital, he said ‘many of the points still being debated come from new Democrat demands’ that Senate appropriators did not include in their versions of fiscal year 2024 spending bills.

‘At a time of divided government, Senate Democrats are attempting at this late stage to spend on priorities that are farther left than what their chamber agreed upon,’ Johnson said.

A source familiar with negotiations told Fox News Digital that one of the main delays has to do with a supplemental nutrition benefits program for low-income women, infants and children under age 5, known as WIC. Senate Democrats want $7 billion for the program, the source said, higher than House Republicans’ proposed $6 billion and Biden’s budgetary request for $6.3 billion.

Schumer’s office did not immediately return a request for comment on the WIC issue or on the White House meeting.

The Senate Democratic leader wrote a letter to colleagues on Sunday fully pinning the blame for the delay – and a potential shutdown – on House Republicans.

‘Unfortunately, extreme House Republicans have shown they’re more capable of causing chaos than passing legislation,’ Schumer said.

‘It is my sincere hope that in the face of a disruptive shutdown that would hurt our economy and make American families less safe, Speaker Johnson will step up to once again buck the extremists in his caucus and do the right thing. While we had hoped to have legislation ready this weekend that would give ample time for members to review the text, it is clear now that House Republicans need more time to sort themselves out.’

If no deal is reached on new federal funding or an extension of current levels by March 1, the government will fall into a partial shutdown.

Fox News Digital’s requests for comment to the White House and the offices of Schumer, McConnell and Jeffries were not immediately returned.

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