Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) brushed aside a question about former President Donald Trump urging House Republicans to force a partial government shutdown — instead scolding the “Democrat operative” who broached the topic for his fashion choices.
“Representative, do you support Trump’s call to shut down the government?” an apparent Democratic tracker wearing khaki shorts with black socks asked Burchett in a Capitol Hill confrontation captured on video the congressman later posted to X, the site formerly known as Twitter.
“He has not called me,” Burchett replied. “And I do not — I do not — support you wearing black socks with short pants.”
A spokeswoman for Burchett told The Post the questioner “did not identify himself to us, but Congressman Burchett recognized him as someone who has spoken to members of Congress outside the Capitol or the office buildings before.”
Trump, 77, has urged his allies in Congress not to back down from withholding votes for more federal spending and posted to his Truth Social account on Sunday that President Biden “will be BLAMED for the budget Shutdown.”
“Whoever is President will be blamed, in this case, Crooked (as Hell!) Joe Biden!” he said on his social media platform, before pivoting to attack Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for working with Democrats.
Last week, Trump said in another post that congressional Republicans “failed on the debt limit” but should press forward to “defund all aspects” of the Biden administration, especially for bringing “political prosecutions” against himself.
McConnell, 81, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced a path forward in the spending debate on Tuesday, which would fund the government at “present levels” until Nov. 17.
The continuing resolution includes $6 billion for disaster relief and roughly $4.5 billion in aid to Ukraine — a spending provision that many hardline House Republicans have opposed.
A test vote on the measure cleared the upper chamber by 77-19, with a group of Senate Republicans voting in opposition.
Schumer in a speech from the Senate floor criticized House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for not taking the lead on a government funding bill, saying he “catered to the hard right and has nothing — nothing to show for it.”
House Republicans advanced four appropriations bills on Tuesday night that would fund the State Department, Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Agriculture.
But McCarthy has thus far been unable to convince his conference to fully back a stopgap spending bill, with five Republicans joining Democrats last week to oppose more government funding.
If the House passes its own spending resolutions, McCarthy has said he will conference with McConnell and Schumer to reconcile the differences and avert a government shutdown before Sept. 30 at midnight.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has threatened to move to vacate McCarthy’s speakership if he introduces a measure to fund the government at current spending levels.
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