The lawmaker appeared on CNN Thursday and expressed deep frustration with the GOP-controlled House’s inability to stop a looming government shutdown. Hindered by holdouts, Republicans failed to advance a defense funding bill earlier, and the lawmakers were sent home by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) without movement toward preventing the possible furlough of many federal employees.
Asked by host John Berman if there was going to be a shutdown, Swalwell replied:
“There shouldn’t be. ... Democrats are ready to give the votes to keep the government open. But right now Republicans, they have failed to protect, they’ve failed to fund, and they’ve failed to govern. They are the failures.”
Swalwell slammed McCarthy, whose leadership has wobbled under pressure from hard-liners. The speaker had hoped to move the defense bill forward and then put together a stopgap spending plan to keep the government fully funded after the Sept. 30 deadline. But infighting may prevent that from happening.
“He needs to choose competence over chaos,” Swalwell said. “He needs to choose for the first time in his life to be a leader rather than a spectator speaker.”