Rep. Tim Burchett told Newsmax Saturday that he voted this past week against the continuing resolution to keep the government open, but said he understands that House Speaker Mike Johnson "had his back against the wall" when it came to getting a bill passed.
"A continued resolution is just a continuation" of the "bad spending policies" of President Joe Biden, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the Tennessee Republican said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America" while explaining his vote.
But Johnson only had two weeks to bring in a bill, and "he did this stairstep or laddered approach to make it a little bit more palatable," said Burchett.
"The reality is, we had since January. And that was one of my problems with [former Speaker] Kevin McCarthy," said Burchett. "We took off the whole month of August and two weeks in September, and then we had two weeks to work on [the bill]."
Burchett added that while he doesn't support increased spending, he does think Johnson is an "excellent speaker."
"We need to have a budget where everything is brought out so we can vote on its items," said Burchett. "I think the American people will see — the left and the right — the garbage that's in there. You know as well as I do, we're taking care of the K Street lobbyists and special interests ... They don't want to pass the budget because they'd have to be held accountable."
Burchett also on Saturday addressed the dust-up between himself and McCarthy, who has denied Burchett's claims that he pushed or hit him from behind.
"I never put it out on the internet," said Burchett, noting that the story was shared by NPR reporter Claudia Grisales, with whom he was talking when the incident happened.
"He just walked by and popped me in the back, and I fell forward. And Claudia said, 'Oh, my gosh, I've never seen that before,'" said Burchett. "She documented it pretty well."
Burchett said he thought for a minute before running after McCarthy to confront him, and the former speaker has since denied hitting him.
"But if you notice in the denial his voice got higher and higher and higher, and that's a pretty good indicator," said Burchett. "Adam Kinzinger wrote in his book that he did that to him twice on the House floor."
Burchett was one of the eight Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy, but now, he told Newsmax that "we've got better things to focus on."
"We've got a border situation and the situation in Israel," he said. "We've got $33 trillion in debt. Our credit rating has been downgraded. Things like that need to be focused on other than his immaturity."
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
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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