Lawmakers come to Jodey Arrington’s defense after the New York Times published explosive remarks

Published: Apr. 10, 2023 at 7:01 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The New York Times published explosive allegations that show division among key Republicans.

The leak comes just ahead of deadlines to avoid a government shutdown later this year.

The New York Times reported this week that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made it clear he has little faith in Lubbock Congressman Jodey Arrington when it comes to a budget framework.

According to the Times, McCarthy regards Arrington as “incompetent.”

The Times’ sources said the statements were made during private conversations with colleagues, but McCarthy did undercut Arrington in front of reporters just weeks ago.

Arrington told reporters he was drafting a blueprint of spending cuts Republicans would demand from the White House in exchange for their support in raising the debt ceiling.

When asked about the offer, McCarthy told reporters, “I don’t know what he’s talking about.”

According to the Times, a grudge may be behind McCarthy’s remarks.

Sources told the Times that during McCarthy’s battle for the speaker’s gavel, Arrington began floating the idea that Steve Scalise (R-LA) should challenge him.

The Times reports McCarthy also made comments about Scalise, calling the majority leader “ineffective, checked out, and reluctant to take a position on anything.”

Some lawmakers are voicing support for Arrington and Scalise, claiming they are McCarthy’s scapegoats.

A senior House Republican told NBC News McCarthy has, “made zero progress in debt negotiations and is getting nervous because he knows all these secret side deals and promises he made during his speaker race are not going to pan out.”

Representative Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania, the top Democrat on the budget committee, told NBC News the failure lies with McCarthy.

“Republicans took raising the debt limit hostage and yet have no idea what ransom they want for it. Kevin McCarthy promised the sun, moon and stars to his Republican colleagues in order to get elected speaker. Now that he can’t even produce a GOP budget, he’s shifting the blame onto other Republican colleagues,” Boyle told NBC. “Sadly, the GOP dysfunction raises the odds of default.”

The Democrat also defended Arrington.

“Chairman Arrington is both well-liked and respected by members on my side of the aisle,” Boyle said. “He’s a bright, principled conservative.”

Arrington’s office provided us with this statement, “Our nation is staring down the barrel of a debt crisis and my budget committee colleagues and I are focused on one thing: passing a budget that will stop this reckless spending and restore fiscal sanity in Washington before it’s too late.”