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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - The White House criticized the U.S. House Oversight chairman for scheduling an impeachment hearing of President Joe Biden just two days before the deadline to fund the government for the coming fiscal year.
- White House spokesman, Ian Sams, accused Rep. James Comer, R-Ken., chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and Republicans of using the impeachment hearing as a distraction from accusations that they cannot govern effectively and will thereby negatively impact the country.
- "Staging a political stunt hearing in the waning days before they may shut down the government reveals their true priorities," Sams said.
- "Their shutdown would hurt our economy and national security, furlough thousands of federal workers, and jeopardize everything from troop pay to disaster relief to efforts to fight fentanyl," he added.
- The White House called on House Republicans to focus on preventing a government shutdown rather than engaging in what it calls "political games."
What's at Stake
- According to Brookings, federal agencies cannot spend or obligate any money without an appropriation (or other approval) from Congress, so if any of the 12 annual appropriation bills stall in Congress, affected federal agencies may be forced to cease nonessential functions until Congress acts.
- For example, services tied to government functions, such as nonessential support for Social Security and Medicare payments, may be limited although the payments themselves would continue to flow. Federal workers for essential operations like air traffic control and law enforcement would stay on the job but not be paid until Congress acts. The Treasury can continue timely payments of interest on U.S. Treasury debt during a shutdown.
- Disagreement between Democrats and Republicans over spending levels put in place in June 2023 may lead to a presidential veto of certain appropriations bills, triggering shutdown. The government's fiscal year ends Sept. 30, the deadline to have appropriations in place.
- A temporary spending provision, called a continuing resolution, could avert a shutdown, but if it remains in place come January, 2024, spending limits are automatically revised with cuts in defense spending.
- Republicans feel it is essential to address what they allege is government corruption while they work toward the finish line on appropriations bills.
- Chairman Comer plans to subpoena the bank records of Hunter Biden and James Biden, President Biden's son and brother, as part of the impeachment hearing.
- The hearing will focus on constitutional and legal questions surrounding the president's alleged involvement in corruption and abuse of public office.
- "The Oversight Committee will continue to follow the evidence and money trail to provide the transparency and accountability that Americans demand from their government," Comer said.
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