When asked by moderator John Berman whether there would be a shutdown, Swalwell replied:
“That should not be. … Democrats are ready to cast their votes to keep the government open. But right now, Republicans have failed to protect, they have failed to fund, and they have failed to govern. They are the losers.”
Swalwell criticized McCarthy, whose leadership had faltered under pressure from hardliners. The speaker had hoped to advance the defense bill and then come up with a stopgap spending plan to keep the government funded after the September 30 deadline. But internal power struggles could prevent that.
“He has to choose competence over chaos,” Swalwell said. “He must, for the first time in his life, choose to be a leader and not just a public speaker.”