(The Hill) — President Biden had harsh words for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, saying he made a “terrible bargain” with the conservative wing of his party in a battle over spending which has made a government shutdown likely.
Biden, in an upcoming interview, argued McCarthy is making a deal with “MAGA Republicans” — which have been loyal to former President Trump — and putting his speakership before the needs of the people.
“The speaker’s made a terrible bargain. In order to keep the speakership, he’s willing to do things that he, I think, he knows are inconsistent with the constitutional processes,” he told ProPublica’s John Harwood in an interview set to air on Sunday. “
“There is a group of MAGA Republicans who genuinely want to have a fundamental change in the way that the system works,” the president said. “And that’s what worries me the most.”
GOP infighting within the House has dominated attempts to pass several of the 12 appropriations bills needed to keep the government open. McCarthy has feuded with several hard-line Republicans over how to cut federal spending.
Democrats have denounced the conflict as the sole cause of an impending government shutdown, as the Sept. 30 deadline approaches.
Democrats have said that the House GOP is failing to keep to a deal made earlier this year to cut the federal budget by a small amount. McCarthy has pushed for larger cuts, while conservative Republicans want to go even further.
Neither of those plans are likely to pass the Senate.
The conflict has also brought McCarthy’s job as speaker into question, as the conservative holdouts hint at a vote to remove him from the leadership role.