White House Condemns Marjorie Taylor Greene Threat to Shut Down Government – The White House criticized the extremist and far-right faction within the Republican party. This came in response to Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia, a prominent extremist figure, stating her refusal to support government funding this month without an impeachment inquiry against Joe Biden.
In the absence of a fresh spending measure, government funding is set to expire on September 30, leading to the potential furlough of federal employees and the closure of government agencies. In a statement on Thursday night, the White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said: “The last thing the American people deserve is for extreme House members to trigger a government shutdown that hurts our economy, undermines our disaster preparedness, and forces our troops to work without guaranteed pay.”
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Nodding to the May deal to raise the debt ceiling, Bates said House Republicans “already made a promise to the American public about government funding, and it would be a shame for them to break their word and fail the country because they caved to the hardcore fringe of their party.” Greene, known for her conspiracy theories and provocative statements, has claimed to be a potential running mate for Donald Trump if he becomes the Republican presidential nominee.
During a speech in Georgia, she expressed her desire to defund Jack Smith, the special counsel responsible for 44 out of 91 criminal charges against Trump. Additionally, she advocated for the removal of David Weiss, the special counsel appointed during the Trump administration to investigate Hunter Biden, the president’s son, and the subject of unverified corruption allegations that have fueled calls for impeachment.
“We have to rein in the FBI,” Greene told constituents. “I will not vote for money to go towards those things. “I will be happy to work with all my colleagues. I will work with the speaker of the House. I will work with everyone. But I will not fund those things.” Other hard-right Republicans have threatened to vote against government funding. Kevin McCarthy, the speaker who has only a five-seat majority, has indicated he will approve an impeachment inquiry when the House comes back this month.
“If we shut down, all the government shuts down – investigation and everything else,” McCarthy told Fox News last weekend, calling impeachment a “natural step forward” from current investigations. House Democrats impeached Trump on two occasions, initially for his pursuit of political information in Ukraine and later for his alleged role in inciting the January 6 attack on Congress. Senate Republicans acquitted him in both instances.
As defined by the Brookings Institution, a government shutdown occurs when “Congress fails to enact the 12 annual appropriation bills [and] federal agencies must cease all non-essential functions until Congress acts.” During Trump’s tenure, two government shutdowns took place due to immigration disputes. The initial shutdown happened in January 2018 and was short-lived. The second, occurring a year later, endured for 35 days, making it the lengthiest in U.S. history.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated its cost at approximately $5 billion. Now, the White House wants a stopgap measure. On Thursday, a spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said: “It is clear that a short-term continuing resolution will be needed next month.” The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, said: “This is something that Congress can do. They can prevent a government shutdown. They need to prevent a government shutdown.”
Also, on Thursday, while Florida and other southern states were evaluating the destruction caused by Hurricane Idalia, the White House made a request for an additional $4 billion to aid in funding relief efforts following a series of climate-related disasters. Earlier in August, President Biden had called on Congress to approve roughly $40 billion in supplementary spending, which encompassed $24 billion to assist Ukraine in its conflict with Russia and other global requirements, along with $12 billion allocated for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster relief fund.
Subsequently, on Thursday, an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) spokesperson, citing wildfire catastrophes in Hawaii and Louisiana in addition to hurricane-related devastation in Florida, indicated that the White House now required $16 billion for disaster relief. “The president has been clear that we are going to stand with communities across the nation as they recover from disasters for as long as it takes, and the administration is committed to working with Congress to ensure funding for the [disaster relief fund] is sufficient for recovery needs,” the spokesperson said.