Members of the House Freedom Caucus repeatedly pressed during a Tuesday press conference that an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden has nothing to do with their ongoing efforts to drive the government into a shutdown unless a list of their demands are met.
The attempt to deny any connection between the two came in a lengthy news conference, just hours after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy officially announced an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden — without a floor vote.
“We agree with the Speaker that impeachment should not be done for political reasons. If the facts take us to that location then that’s where they should take us,” Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry (R-PA) told reporters at the House Triangle. “But it has nothing to do with the debt, the deficit, the outrageous spending, the inflation that’s crushing American families. Those are two separate issues and they should be dealt with separately.”
For weeks before the August recess, far-right House Republicans slowed down the appropriations process by stuffing the bills with riders going after abortion access and LGBTQ rights. While tacking manufactured far-right grievances onto standard issue appropriations bills, MAGA Republicans have been claiming they want to cut government spending to pre-COVID levels.
In a late August statement, the Freedom Caucus vowed to oppose any short-term solution — to keep the government funded until lawmakers can reach an agreement — unless House leadership met a list of their demands. To their point, that list did not officially include any requests for impeachment, but far-right members have been pushing the idea for months. It was even reported before the August recess that McCarthy was weighing an impeachment inquiry as a bone to the hardliners mucking up the appropriations process.
Despite all of this, Perry and his far-right colleagues insisted on Tuesday that this wasn’t an effort to bully McCarthy into giving the recently emboldened group concessions. The concession in this case being every MAGA Republican’s wish: seeking revenge for former President Donald Trump’s two impeachments.
“This isn’t political revenge,” Perry said frustrated, when a reporter asked if he had any evidence to justify impeachment. He also reiterated Tuesday that hardliners are still not on board with a temporary spending bill.
“We’re not interested in a continuing resolution that continues the policies and the spending of the Biden, Schumer, Pelosi era,” Perry said. “We’re not going to vote for it. We didn’t vote for it last December. And we’re not gonna vote for it now.”
Freedom Caucus member Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) also said he will not vote for a continuing resolution.
“It’s time to fight and if it shuts the government down, shut it down,” Norman told reporters on the House steps following the press conference. “It’s my message.”