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On Sunday morning shows, Democratic and Republican leaders brace for deadlock in Congress


The future leaders of the two main parties are already bracing for a messy fight in the next session of Congress, with critical funding issues and investigations looming.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.), who is running unopposed so far to be the House’s leading Democrat, said Sunday he favors raising the debt ceiling before the GOP takes control of the House on Jan. 3 to prevent giving current Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) the ability to use the debt ceiling as leverage on a range of other issues .

“Kevin McCarthy has said he’s ready to blow up America’s economy, default on our nation’s debt to try to cut Social Security and Medicare for tens of millions of Americans. “, Jeffries said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “It’s incredibly reckless.”

Jeffries said he hasn’t spoken to McCarthy since the election, but added he has “a much warmer relationship” with Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the No. 2 Republican in the Bedroom.

On Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” however, McCarthy, who seeks the gavel as Speaker of the House, seemed determined to avoid cooperation with Democrats.

“We have set ourselves a goal,” he said. “To stop Biden’s agenda, win a majority and fire Nancy Pelosi. We have just achieved these three objectives.

Even before the new Congress was sworn in, the race for the 2024 presidential campaign was underway with former President Donald Trump announcing last Tuesday that he would run for office again.

Former Vice President Mike Pence appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and defended Trump’s tenure record.

“I will not join those who want to dismiss our administration’s four years and all that we have accomplished for the American people,” he said. Pence, a likely contender for the 2024 GOP nomination, has shown no commitment to his intentions.

“I’ll let you know if I’m going to run or not. But I think we’ll have better choices,” Pence told host Chuck Todd.

Former House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, however, was unequivocal about his opinion on Trump’s race.

“I think what we know now, it’s pretty clear, is that with Trump, we lose.” said Ryan. “We’re overtaking Trump, we’re starting to win elections,” he said, calling himself “never more Trump.”

Even though House Republicans will face a standoff with Democrats in the Senate over whether to pass any legislation, many have said they will hold lengthy oversight hearings and slow down Democrat initiatives.

Asked if Democrats would stand up for President Biden in the face of investigations Republicans are expected to conduct next year, Jeffries said Democrats would seek to cooperate with Republicans “legally” but fend off “MAGA extremism.”

“We will absolutely defend the Biden administration and its successes if attacked by people trying to politicize our government responsibilities, without a doubt,” he said.

Democrats also on Friday defended Attorney General Merrick Garland’s decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate Trump in an effort to insulate those cases from politics.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-California), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” hailed the move as “the right thing to do.” But he added he feared the Justice Department had been “very slow” and he hoped the special prosecutor would speed up investigations.

Schiff also said he wouldn’t be surprised if McCarthy fulfilled his vow to strip Schiff of his position on the House Intelligence Committee. He said it was a sign of weakness.

“I suspect he will do anything [Rep.] Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) wants him to do it,” Schiff said. “He’s a very weak leader of his conference, which means he’ll buy into the wishes of the lowest common denominator. And if that lowest common denominator wants to get people off the committees, that’s what they’ll do.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), one of 10 Republicans to vote to impeach Trump and a member of the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, also said McCarthy would give in to the elements. further to the right. of the GOP, especially Greene.

“First of all, she will be newly empowered,” he said. “And the fact that she’s backing Kevin McCarthy means he’s made a lot of promises to her. Trust me, that’s how it works.

Some lawmakers also defended the Biden administration’s decision to repeat precedent and grant immunity to Mohammed bin Salman, now Saudi Prime Minister, despite his alleged involvement in the horrific murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a living journalist. in the United States in 2018.

“It would have been a major departure from those customs not to grant that kind of immunity,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“What I would say is that Saudi Arabia is far from the worst human rights violator in the world,” Cotton said. He pointed the finger at Iran for cracking down on protesters in the streets and China for what he called “genocide” against religious and ethnic minorities.

Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) also supported the decision.

“Do I think the killing of Jamal Khashoggi was horrible? Absolutely, absolutely,” Warner said. “But we have to be realistic enough to realize that Saudi Arabia has been a bulwark against Iran. He’s a leader in a very messy part of the world.

But Schiff said he opposed granting immunity in light of Khashoggi’s murder and dismemberment.

“We have to put our value on life and not oil, and I think that’s a tragic decision,” he said.


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