The White House on Thursday took issue with what they described as the “hardcore fringe” of the Republican Party following comments by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) threatening she won’t vote to keep the government open unless the GOP-controlled House of Representatives launches an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
“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,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement.
Bates added that House Republicans promised Americans they would not hold the government hostage, alluding to the bipartisan debt ceiling deal House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) helped negotiate. Biden signed the legislation in June.
The White House said a shutdown would undermine American priorities, including funding the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has been on the forefront of the response to extreme weather events, including Hurricane Idalia that devastated Florida earlier this week.
“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 in prioritizing a baseless impeachment stunt over high stakes needs Americans care about deeply — like fighting fentanyl trafficking, protecting our national security, and funding FEMA,” Bates said.
But McCarthy now seems to be using the prospect of Biden impeachment inquiry to lure far-right members of his caucus to vote to keep the government open past the end of the 2023 fiscal year on Sept. 30, warning that a shutdown could hinder the GOP’s ability to investigate the president.
“I don’t believe we’ll have enough time to pass all the appropriation bills by September 30. So I would actually like to have a short-term [continuing resolution] only to make our arguments stronger,” McCarthy told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo Sunday.
“If we shut down, all the government shuts it down, investigation and everything else,” he added.
Biden on Thursday requested that congressional lawmakers approve a continuing resolution while the two sides continue to negotiate on a larger spending bill, according to The Washington Post.
During his Fox News interview, McCarthy described the impeachment inquiry as a “natural step forward.”
Despite failing to present evidence to back up claims of Biden’s alleged wrongdoing, Republicans had already teased opening an inquiry into the president following their return from summer recess. The White House has also reportedly been preparing on how to respond to it.
The prospect of an investigation, though, isn’t enough for Greene. She told her constituents at the Floyd County Town Hall Thursday that her vote would also be conditional on eliminating all COVID vaccines and mandates, withdrawing funding for Ukraine as it continues to fight a war against Russia, and ending what she described as “Biden’s weaponization of government.”