By: Stacy M. Brown / NNPA
Amidst the looming threat of a government shutdown as funding expiration at the end of the month draws ever closer, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat from New York, has characterized the Republican Party as being “in the middle of a civil war.” The statement comes as both major parties engage in heated negotiations to reach an agreement to prevent the shutdown.
Speaking on ABC News’ “This Week,” Jeffries stated unequivocally, “Let’s be clear: House Republicans are in the middle of a civil war. The House Republican civil war is hurting hard-working American taxpayers and limiting our ability to solve problems on their behalf. It’s unfortunate, but as House Democrats, we’re going to continue to try to find common ground with the other side of the aisle to work with Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans and President Biden.”
Jeffries’ comments were made in response to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s decision to initiate an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. That move contradicted his stance that a full chamber vote would be required for such proceedings.
In response to McCarthy’s actions, Jeffries assured that the White House would cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, asserting that there was “nothing to hide.” He contended that the investigations conducted by House Republicans into the Biden family had failed to produce any evidence suggesting that the President had “engaged in impeachable offenses.”
“There are no facts on the record to suggest that President Biden broke the law in any way, shape, or form. This is an illegitimate impeachment inquiry,” he stated. “It’s a product of the House Republican civil war. Why in the world, in the middle of all the issues that we are trying to tackle, all of the problems that we are trying to solve on behalf of the American people, would House Republicans inject this illegitimate impeachment inquiry in the middle of us trying to do the business of the American people? It’s quite unfortunate, it’s wrong, it’s distracting, and it should end now.”
Rep. Nancy Mace, a Republican from South Carolina who appeared on the same program, criticized Jeffries for using the term “civil war” to describe the internal tensions within the GOP. According to Mace, Republican use of such language would spark outrage and be considered divisive.
Members of McCarthy’s caucus on the hard right threaten to unseat him from the speakership unless he meets their demands, including spending cuts and policy add-ons to must-pass government funding legislation. Also, they have signaled their unwillingness to support a stopgap bill to buy more time before the impending government shutdown deadline at the end of the month.
In response to the ongoing negotiations, McCarthy expressed optimism that progress had been made over the weekend in an interview with NBC News. He also revealed plans to incorporate border security into a continuing resolution and expressed confidence that an agreement would be reached “this week.”
During a separate television appearance, McCarthy emphasized his commitment to putting a bill on the floor, regardless of whether it passes or fails, to showcase where lawmakers stand on crucial issues. “I gave them an opportunity this weekend to try to work through this, and we’ll bring it to the floor win or lose and show the American public who’s for the Department of Defense, who’s for our military,” McCarthy declared.