John Fetterman says America’s ‘best and brightest’ are not in Congress

‘I just want everybody to realize just how truly dysfunctional it really is,’ Fetterman says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Friday 13 October 2023 14:28 EDT

John Fetterman says US is not sending ‘best and brightest’ to Congress

Sen John Fetterman said on Wednesday that the US “is not sending their best and brightest” to Congress.

“Sometimes you literally just can’t believe, like, these people are making the decisions that are determining the government here. It’s actually scary,” Mr Fetterman told Stephen Colbert during an appearance on The Late Show on CBS.

“Before the government almost shut down, I mean, it came down to a couple hours,” he noted about the last-minute deal struck between Republicans and Democrats to fund the government until the middle of next month that prompted the ouster of Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

“I was in my office, and they finally came over from the House. And they’re like, ‘Okay, well, this has to be unanimous in the Senate.’ And out of 99 of us, if one single one of us would have said no, the whole government would have shut down,” Mr Fetterman said.

“That’s how dangerous that is to put that kind of power in one’s hands because you have some very less gifted kinds of people there that are willing to shut down the government just as score points on Fox,” he noted.

Amid the GOP’s seemingly never-ending struggle to agree on a new speaker, Mr Colbert asked if the members of the upper chamber “feel pretty good right now that they’re not the most dysfunctional part of the government?”

“Well it’s a low bar, really,” Mr Fetterman said.

“I just want everybody to realise just how truly dysfunctional it really is,” he added. “And I always tell people, don’t worry, please don’t worry. It’s much worse than you think.“

Mr Fetterman’s comments come as Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH) is returning to the race for House speaker for another attempt after Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) failed to get the 217 votes needed from his 221 members to take the gavel.

The House Judiciary Committee chair announced his second attempt on Friday after he lost an internal GOP vote to Mr Scalise earlier this week, receiving 99 votes to 113 for the majority leader.

Since the GOP has a very small majority, Mr Jordan can only lose four votes, and a number of Republicans on the moderate end of the conference have already said they won’t back Mr Jordan, including Reps Ann Wagner (R-MO), Austin Scott (R-GA), and Don Bacon (R-NE).

“I think he’s gonna have a math problem as well,” Rep Mike Garcia (R-CA) told Axios and Rep Greg Murphy (R-NC) added that “it’s going to be hard” for Mr Jordan to become speaker.

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