Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California said Wednesday that Democrats would “go around” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to fund aid to Ukraine and raise the debt ceiling.
“The greatest asset that Russia has now would be a Republican Party that is unwilling to help Ukraine,” Swalwell told MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace. “So there is a lot on the line. And Democrats are united to deliver the votes.”
“I think you’re going to see speaker discharge. The country is going to learn that word because a discharge petition, the worst named political term you could think of, means that if you get a majority of the Congress to come forward to support legislation, you can go around the speaker, I think we’ll have to go around the speaker to do all of that,” Swalwell added.
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A discharge petition forces the House of Representatives to vote on a piece of legislation once it is signed by 218 members of the legislative body, according to the Congressional Research Service.
McCarthy won the speakership on the 15th ballot after agreeing to multiple rules changes proposed by the Freedom Caucus and giving some of the most conservative House Republicans certain committee assignments, including appointing Republican Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida to the Steering Committee. One of the promises was an agreement to tie spending cuts to any increase in the debt ceiling.
McCarthy also said that a Republican-led House of Representatives would not give a “blank check” when it came to aid for Ukraine.
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The Biden administration will announce a new package of military aid, which is expected to exclude M1 Abrams main battle tanks and the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), Friday.
“I don’t think he has the political backbone to stand up to the people he just struck that bargain with,” Swalwell said.