As Congress prepares for its annual scramble to avoid a government shut down, Democrats are, according to tradition, pre-emptively blaming Republican "extremists." But it's actually Democrats who want a shut down this year, according to a top Republican.
Jason Smith (MO), chair of the House Ways and Means committee, told Sunday Morning Futures that Democrats want to shut the government down to stop Congress from investigating Joe Biden.
"If funding is stalled, if there is a government shutdown, that would stop all of these investigations," Smith said.
"That’s absolutely the wrong thing. The American people deserve a government that’s working for them, and we have to continue these investigations," Smith insisted.
Smith appeared to rephrase Speaker Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) message to rebellious House conservatives who are threatening a government shutdown to force spending cuts.
“If we shut down, all the government shuts it down — investigation and everything else,” McCarthy said. “It hurts the American public.”
McCarthy has discussed launching an impeachment inquiry of Biden sometime in September, but he's facing a divided party - with moderates wary of impeachment on one side, and on the other, House conservatives who are skeptical of his commitment to cut spending and hold Biden accountable.
The GOP's right flank balked when McCarthy compromised with Biden on a deal to avoid a government default earlier this year, and they're once again making their voices heard.
“We are not going to be distracted by shiny objects, saying if you don’t get this continuing resolution passed, we won’t be able to pursue the impeachment inquiry,” Montana Republican Matt Rosendale said. "That’s nonsense.”
Biden is recently confirmed to have used pseudonyms to send and receive government emails during his vice presidency.
It's just the latest sign that Biden - who was known as "the big guy" to his son's overseas business partners - was engaged in seedy influence peddling.
"Joe Biden using fake names in more than 5,000 e-mails is not much different than the pattern we have seen with the Biden family," Smith said.
McCarthy's cautious approach to pursuing Biden has frustrated his right flank and President Trump, who urged Republicans to impeach "the bum" or move on.
But Smith said that "moving towards an impeachment inquiry will help give us stronger tools to continue this investigation."