The CNBC host hits the House’s top Democrat with a reality check about what “bipartisan” actually means — and what it doesn’t mean

CNBC host Joe Kernen had to define the meaning of “bipartisan” for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D) on Friday.

Appearing on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” the No. 1 Democrat in the House of Representatives repeatedly blamed “extreme MAGA Republicans” for the likely government shutdown.

Jeffries claimed that House Republicans would take a “my way or the high street” approach on “every issue.” Even on the issue of increasing funding for border security, Jeffries said President Joe Biden had made a proposal but claimed House Republicans “haven’t even considered it yet.”

In response, Kernen noted that the funding was unlikely to alleviate problems at the border — and then scolded Jeffries about what “bipartisan” actually means.

“The funding doesn’t help the border,” Kernen said. “There needs to be a change in policy. That’s all Speaker McCarthy said: ‘Let’s actually do it in a bipartisan way and develop actual policy there. We are doing a lot with Ukraine. “Let’s get actual policy and additional funding.” planned would really change. I think you would manage.

“But this is cross-party,” explained Kernen. “Bipartisanship doesn’t mean that whatever Democrats want becomes law. That’s not what bipartisanship is.”

House Minority Leader Jeffries: House Democrats would support Senate funding bill to prevent

Kernen also disagreed with Jeffries, saying that only a handful of Republicans didn’t fall into the category of “extreme MAGA Republicans.”

“You said there were maybe six normal ones. You seem to be saying there are six normal and, I don’t know, 250 ‘extreme MAGA’. But that’s not how it is. There are probably eight or nine “Extreme MAGA” that fit that description,” Kernen said.

“There is no point in this interview or any other point where I have actually commented on the number of Republicans who fall into a particular category,” Jeffries objected.

But that’s not correct.

Earlier in the interview, Jeffries said of a possible deal to keep government open: “Certainly there are six traditional Republicans, six sensible Republicans who are willing to avoid a catastrophic government shutdown.”

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Laura Coffey

Laura Coffey is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Laura Coffey joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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