Kevin McCarthy

NEWS: Hakeem Jeffries says GOP in ‘civil war’ as gov. shutdown looms

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries claimed Republicans are in “civil war” amid the party’s failure to agree on spending bills to fund government operations — and avert an Oct. 1 shutdown.

Jeffries (D-NY) accused the GOP infighting as the primary reason why large swaths of the government could close — noting far-right Republicans have threatened to force House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) out of leadership if doesn’t comply with their demands.

“Let’s be clear: House Republicans are in the middle of a civil war,” Jeffries told ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday.

“The House Republican civil war is hurting hard-working American taxpayers and limiting our ability to be able to solve problems on their behalf,” he added.

“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 appears to address infighting triggered by the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus, whose members vowed to oppose any stopgap measure to forestall a shutdown unless they see more spending cuts.

Reportedly, Republicans threatened to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from leadership.
AFP via Getty Images

The top Democrat claimed cracks in the Republican party are also evident in McCarthy’s push to launch an impeachment inquiry against Biden, despite earlier claims he wouldn’t do so without a full vote of the chamber.

Prior to the U-turn, some ultra-conservative house members had threatened a shutdown if an impeachment inquiry wasn’t launched.

“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,” Jeffries told ABC. “It’s a product of the House Republican civil war.”

Appearing later on the program, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) denied the characterization and slammed Jeffries for using the term “civil war.”

“Using the word civil, the phrase civil war, over and over again in an interview — if that were a Republican, there would be outrage on the left,” she said.

Mace also insisted Republicans had to follow through with promises made to the Freedom Caucus, which previously conceded their calls for more budget cuts in May in order to help raise the debt ceiling.

McCarthy told reporters Sunday there has been progress in advancing the 12 appropriations bills to fund the government, with the House Speaker optimistic a vote will pass before the looming deadline.

The next fiscal year begins Oct. 1, and without a consensus, the government would shut down.

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