It would be easy to look at the House of Representatives and assume that the members of the Freedom Caucus — and not Speaker Kevin McCarthy — are the ones who are actually in charge.

This past week was a perfect example of why.

On Tuesday, McCarthy raised some eyebrows when he announced an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. It was a partisan maneuver that has subjected him to a lot of criticism, especially from within his own party.

After all, what new information did McCarthy have to justify this?

If you believe the talk around Washington, the answer is: none at all.

According to conventional wisdom, McCarthy’s big impeachment announcement was an attempt to avert a government shutdown at the end of the month. It was an effort to buy support from the group of far-right members who are tanking the requisite spending bills because they think their fellow conservatives have gone soft.

For the most part, these holdouts are the same arch-conservatives who forced 15 votes on McCarthy’s speakership; who demanded — and received — a one-vote threshold to remove McCarthy as Speaker; and who later coerced the Speaker into breaking the deal he made with Joe Biden to raise the debt limit.

So yet again, with a government shutdown looming, Speaker McCarthy is dancing to the Freedom Caucus’s tune. Or is he?

On this week’s show, host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza puts that question to the leader of one group of Republicans who you don’t hear from a lot: the moderates.

Ohio Congressman Dave Joyce is the Chairman of the Republican Governance Group, the pre-eminent faction for GOP centrists; and he’s also a senior appropriator, which means he’s one of the people who has to figure out how to get out of this government shutdown mess.

Ryan caught-up with Joyce in his Washington office to learn how the Republicans you don’t see quoted on Breitbart are approaching the tumultuous issues gripping the lower chamber.

On this episode of Deep Dive, they speak at length about the rationale behind McCarthy’s new impeachment gambit; if and how the Speaker can claw together the votes to avoid a government shutdown; the odds that McCarthy will face a vote to remove him as Speaker; and what it’s really like in private between Joyce and members of the Freedom Caucus he battles in public.

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