House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries claimed Sunday that his Republican colleagues are “in the middle of a civil war” over the best path forward amid a recently launched impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, of an ongoing spending fight and another looming federal government shutdown. .
“Civil war has the following attributes: chaos, dysfunction and extremism. The Republican civil war in the House of Representatives harms hardworking American taxpayers and limits our ability to solve problems on their behalf,” said Jeffries, co-anchor of ABC’s “This Week”, Jonathan. Karl, in an exclusive interview.
“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,” Jeffries said, adding: “I hope that the “House Republicans will join us so we can work to make sure we fund the government.”
Jeffries also said the White House “will continue to cooperate” with the impeachment inquiry “because there is nothing to hide.”
Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., appeared on “This Week” after Jeffries and acknowledged that the GOP had problems with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, but retorted: “I find it a little hypocritical that this or the divisive language he used. used in his interview and talk about people rather than politics.
Referring to an earlier agreement to raise the national debt ceiling, Mace added: “If Democrats and, quite frankly, Republicans wanted to put people over politics, they would not have come together more early this year to add $18.8 trillion to the debt. »
Jeffries, in his own interview, placed the blame on the House’s conservative majority, saying Democrats wanted to “end the partisan political games that have currently captured House Republicans.”
As Mace suggested, a major sticking point concerns whether – and where – to cut government spending.
The House approved only one of the 12 appropriations bills. House Democrats have voted against GOP funding bills so far since the conference marked the bills at levels below the spending caps agreed to by McCarthy and Biden in the deal. debt ceiling in June.
Asked about a possible federal government shutdown, Jeffries on Sunday called on Republicans to “stop fighting” and said he expects further conversations, but did not say whether he had discussed the way forward with McCarthy.
While some Republican members are threatening a resignation motion to oust McCarthy, Jeffries also would not say whether House Democrats would help bail out the president.
“We haven’t thought about it one way or the other,” he said.
“But what we should be focusing on right now is avoiding an unnecessary government shutdown that would harm the ability of our economy to continue to recover,” he added.
Impeachment, Hunter Biden, more
On “This Week,” Jeffries addressed Biden’s new impeachment inquiry, with McCarthy saying there is a “culture of corruption” around the president — which the White House calls baseless.
“There are no facts in the record that suggest that President Biden has engaged in any impeachable offense. There are no facts in the record that suggest that President Biden has broken the law of any way,” Jeffries said.
He called the investigation “a product of the Republican civil war in the House of Representatives.” McCarthy had initially said there would be a vote to cast it, but it was unclear whether he had enough votes to do so and he ultimately cast one anyway.
“House Republicans have uncovered serious and credible allegations about President Biden’s conduct,” he said last week.
Congressional Republicans have long investigated what they allege are illicit ties between the president and his son Hunter Biden, particularly around Hunter Biden’s controversial overseas business dealings.
No evidence has emerged showing that the president was directly involved in Hunter Biden’s business decisions or made decisions because of them.
Hunter Biden was indicted in Delaware on Thursday for allegedly lying about his drug use when he bought a gun in 2018. His lawyer said last week on “Good Morning America” that the case was “probably unconstitutional” and insisted it would be filed.
The minority leader said on “This Week” that Hunter Biden’s indictment proves there is no interaction between the president and the administration’s Justice Department, which investigated Hunter Biden.
“Hunter Biden is entitled to the presumption of innocence. The case is currently before a court, and let’s see how it develops,” Jeffries said. “I think what’s more important is that President Joe Biden continues to inspire us to focus on the things that matter.”
Separately, following a strike by the United Auto Workers, Jeffries said he would travel to Detroit Sunday afternoon and “looked forward to standing in solidarity” with them as they “fight for the fundamental American dream.”
He said he hoped the strike would end “as soon as possible”.
One issue Jeffries deviated from entirely was that of Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Former House Speaker Pelosi did not directly answer a question during an interview last week about whether Harris, who has poor approval ratings, is Biden’s best choice as his running mate. Karl asked Jeffries why.
Jeffries said Pelosi was “very capable of answering that question on her own.”
But he himself endorsed Harris, saying: “She will be a great running mate.” She has been a tremendous partner in the things that President Biden has been able to accomplish. »