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The White House warned Monday that the looming government shutdown could hamper efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Congress has only a few days to pass a fiscal-year spending deal, and with Republicans and Democrats at loggerheads, some public health measures could be affected, said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
"It is never a good thing for the government to shut down, and that is why we are doing everything we can to prevent that from happening," Psaki opened in response to a question from CNN's Kaitlan Collins on the subject.
Psaki acknowledged that many public health operations would continue even in the event of a shutdown, but said that "having services shut down [and] staffing cut in some agencies is not in the interests of addressing any crisis we face, including the pandemic."
"So will they continue to work at 100% when it comes to pandemic response, or what is the preparation for that," Psaki said. "Again, public health officials, for the most part, would be exempt, but government shutdowns also are hugely costly."
Congress has until midnight on Thursday to pass a funding package for fiscal year 2022. The Biden administration is urging lawmakers to pass a continuing resolution that would extend that deadline in addition to providing new funding for the resettlement of Afghan refugees, direct aid for states affected by recent severe weather disasters, and raise the debt ceiling.
You can watch Psaki's entire press briefing below.
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Original Author: Christian Datoc
Original Location: White House warns government shutdown could hurt fight against COVID