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Tim Kaine on Republican shutdown push: ‘Not a fiscally conservative position’

Chris Graham
tim kaine
(© George Sheldon – Shutterstock)

Joe Biden had a great line this week at a campaign event in Northern Virginia on why Republicans are signaling that they to want to impeach him.

“I don’t know quite why, but they just knew they wanted to impeach me,” Biden said. “And now, the best I can tell, they want to impeach me because they want to shut down the government.”

That’s about as much as we can glean from both of the nonsense pushes from House Republicans, who pushed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy into launching an impeachment inquiry against Biden without a substantive charge to base impeachment on, as they also threaten to shut down the government for reasons that they haven’t quite been able to explain.

(Ahem, it’s politics.)

Count Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, among those fed up with the House not being able to keep its house in order.

“It’s my hope that reason prevails,” Kaine told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday, knowing as he said the words out loud that he’s expressing wishful thinking more than anything else.

There’s no reason to anything that Republicans are doing with the shutdown threat, and a bill that Kaine shepherded through Congress during the last shutdown is a key reason why.

The 2019 bill guarantees back pay for federal employees following a government shutdown, meaning effectively, taxpayers, during a shutdown, are still on the hook for the costs of government services even though they can’t access them.

“That’s not a fiscally conservative position,” Kaine said.

The shutdown threat, just like the impeachment with no charges, is, of course, all about 2024.

It’s about “leverage,” Kaine said, the thought that shutting down national parks, the IRS, not funding the defense budget, the rest, will somehow get people to want to pull the lever for Rs next year.

“This is a threat that usually goes away at the last minute, and that makes me mad, even if it goes away, because you needlessly scare people when you shouldn’t,” Kaine said. “But especially now that the federal employees are guaranteed paychecks anyway, don’t walk them out of their office and tell them they can’t serve their colleagues.

“So again, it’s my hope that reason prevails,” Kaine said. “And again, this is not primarily a Senate issue because the Senate Dems and Rs are working well together to move forward on budget, but this there’s a core of the House GOP that’s pushing this, and I wish they wouldn’t, you know, not needlessly scare people.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].