Rep. Eric Swalwell said the House is acting like it’s a “law firm with only one client” — former President Donald Trump, as he criticized Speaker Kevin McCarthy for moving toward a government shutdown.
The Democratic lawmaker claimed that while McCarthy has the “title” of Speaker, far-right factions of the Republican Party are actually calling the shots in the House of Representatives.
His comments to MSNBC host Jen Psaki come just days before the House of Representatives must reach a deal to avoid a government shutdown by passing all twelve appropriations bills for annual funding of federal agencies.
“The House of Representatives has unfortunately become a law firm, with only one client, Donald Trump,” Swalwell said, noting that those who control the House have their priorities elsewhere than avoiding a shutdown.
“And again, it comes at the expense of the American people,” he noted, adding that “people are going to feel the pain” of a shutdown in the coming weeks.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said Republicans in the House of Representatives are treating Congress as if it were a law firm with only one client in Donald Trump.
While the House of Representatives must pass appropriations bills by September 30 to avoid a shutdown, Republicans have focused on other issues. Earlier this month, McCarthy announced an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden upon returning to office after the August recess.
Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) said Sunday he is open to ousting Chairman McCarthy if he cannot reach an agreement in time to avoid a shutdown.
Meanwhile, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) predicts the shutdown is inevitable at this point as Republicans refuse to rally around a single deal — and a MAGA wing of the party continues to push for Speaker McCarthy’s departure.
“Kevin McCarthy is a spectator speaker,” Swalwell pointed out. “He may have the title, but Donald Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz all share the job.”
“And the problem is that McCarthy is only concerned about his own job and keeping it, not the jobs of your viewers – the millions who would be affected if we don’t pay our troops, if we don’t pay. border agents, if we don’t pay the air traffic controllers,” the lawmaker said during his MSNBC interview Sunday morning.
“McCarthy could simply put forward the same legislation that Senator Schumer and McConnell have been working on in the Senate, which President Biden would sign, and as an adult he would put country first, and we would fund the government before the funding has run out.’
“But instead, Republicans in the House of Representatives are failures.”
A government shutdown could last just a few days as the spending bill for the last fiscal year expires on September 30.
Meanwhile, McCarthy is having trouble reconciling the desires of moderate Republicans and the party’s far-right factions, let alone dealing with Democrats’ wave of divergent priorities.
When asked in a CNN State of the Union interview Sunday morning whether he would be in favor of removing McCarthy from his role as speaker, Rep. Burchett responded, “That would be something I would strongly look at.”
“If we fail in our duty, which we have said, we will do so,” Burchett told CNN host Dana Bash. “They’re all talking about the promise he made with Biden a year ago… What about the promise we made to the American public that we were going to be responsible Americans?”
Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) said Sunday that he would be open to voting out House Speaker Kevin McCarthy if he fails to strike a deal to keep the government funded and to prevent a closure.
“We’re going to rule over a pile of rubble if we’re not careful,” the Tennessee Republican added. “Our financial ship is sinking – and the American public needs to realize that all these fancy titles, CRs and omnibuses, confusing the American public are not working. The curtain is out. We must do our duty. We should be back in Washington by now to deal with it. But what are we doing? Well, they sent us home.”
Despite the tightening of the deadline, the House of Representatives took a long weekend instead of remaining in Washington DC to advance at least some of the twelve bills introduced to prevent a shutdown.
The government is funded each year by twelve appropriations bills, each covering different agencies or groups of agencies. In recent years, some or all of these bills have been combined into one “omnibus package” and passed jointly.
All parts of the government whose appropriations are not approved and signed by midnight on September 30 may be closed. With less than a week until that deadline, it’s likely the federal government will be at least partially shut down.
Rep. Waters says she is certain some agencies will have to close their doors until appropriations for the next budget year are approved.
“We’re headed for a shutdown,” Waters said in an interview with MSNBC’s Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart.
Meanwhile, Democrat Maxine Waters is confident there will be a government shutdown due to the Republican Party’s ‘disorganization’ and ‘chaos’
She added: “The Republican Party is in complete disarray. It’s chaotic.’
“The Speaker is on his knees begging, but he sold his soul when 15 roll calls had to be taken so he could become speaker, and now he is out of control. We are heading for a shutdown.”
Waters was referring to the fact that the House had to hold 15 separate votes to actually approve McCarthy as speaker when Republicans gained control of the House during the 2022 midterm elections.
Now that chaos is catching up with Waters’ Californian colleague.
Despite months of efforts to get separate factions of the party to work together, lawmakers are now blaming their leader in the House of Representatives for the inability to get legislation passed.