Rep. Jeff Van Drew, while discussing the possibility of a government shutdown, told Newsmax on Saturday that he just wants to see the House pass "clean bills" on spending.
"I don't want to see a partial shutdown," the New Jersey Republican told Newsmax's "America Right Now." "But we have to make sure we have clan bills that don't just do the same old thing. We just can't keep spending more and more money. We can't include bad things in plain English, along with the good things that are normally in the bill."
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Friday that he thinks it is still possible to pass a partisan short-term stopgap measure. Still, the hard-right flank of the House majority has taken control of the discussions, with proposals being floated by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and members of the Freedom Caucus.
Van Drew insisted that McCarthy, as speaker, is in charge, but the Freedom Caucus "has a good number of people in that caucus, and we have a very thin majority."
Meanwhile, McCarthy is showing some signs of agreeing to separate spending into separate bills, said Van Drew, including separating money for Ukraine into a standalone measure, "which I asked him to do."
"We shouldn't include it in with the Defense Authorization Act," the congressman said.
In other matters, Van Drew on Saturday discussed his heated Judiciary Committee exchange with Attorney General Merrick Garland over the propriety of the FBI's investigation into Catholics over claims of extremism.
Van Drew said Garland had a "hard time" answering his question "because it was difficult for him to just say the truth, or maybe he did think they were extremists."
"He's the attorney general," he added. "He's in charge of his attorney general's office, the FBI, and the Department of Justice. Under this Department of Justice and this FBI, they have committed what I believe are just outrageous acts. This is just one of them."
The FBI's memo on surveilling churches likely meant undercover agents were also going to be put in churches of other denominations, but "we don't know because we can't get all the information," Van Drew said. "First, they said it wasn't true; but then, of course, we found the facts."
Garland felt uncomfortable, he added, "because he knows it was under his charge that all of this happened."
Van Drew rejected an argument, though, that such hearings are becoming a waste of time.
"If we didn't have the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, you would know none of this," said Van Drew. "It's important to find out the facts. It's not only important because the American people should know how corrupt this all was and how to fix this ... we need accountability. That's what people say to me all the time. That's why we're having an impeachment inquiry because all this stuff can be tracked back to the White House."
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Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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