Upton worried impeachment could affect budget process

rep fred upton

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton in Kalamazoo on Nov. 11, 2019.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Later this week, Washington will be abuzz with public hearings in House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, has seen it before: The last time around, it was Republicans pursuing articles of impeachment against Democratic president Bill Clinton.

In Kalamazoo Monday, Upton said there is important work that needs to be done but the impeachment debate could keep Congress from working on those issues as the year draws to a close. In fact, he said, it already has.

“There really is gridlock,” he said. “…I was with the secretary of defense two weeks ago and he said we can’t take another continuing resolution (on spending). We’ve got new weapons systems, we’ve got all these different things. We can’t get pay raises for our troops. Do your job, please. Up to this point, really, we haven’t been able to because all of the oxygen in the balloon is going someplace else.”

The full impact that the impeachment inquiry could have on things like budgeting or a continuing resolution to keep spending at current levels— thereby averting a government shutdown — is difficult to judge.

No one knows for sure what will come out of the public hearings or how long they may continue.

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