Congress careens towards a shutdown in 12 days: Kevin McCarthy tears into Republican rebels trying to sink short-team deal that would cut spending and keep government funded for 31 days
Just 12 days separate the federal government from total shutdown, and Speaker Kevin McCarthy has grown impatient with Republican obstinance to spending legislation.
McCarthy promised leadership would work through the weekend as negotiators seemed to admit defeat on Republicans’ newly released short-term continuing resolution.
‘We’re going to bring new ideas up, and we’re going to work until we get this done. We’re not leaving this weekend. We’re going to get through this,’ McCarthy told reporters.
Around a dozen Republicans have pledged they would vote ‘no’ on a deal cut by the right-wing House Freedom Caucus and the Main Street Caucus, a group of pragmatic conservatives, to extend government funding by one month – giving Congress more time to hash out spending legislation and fund the government for fiscal year 2024.
McCarthy promised leadership would work through the weekend as negotiators seemed to admit defeat on Republicans’ newly released short-term continuing resolution
GOP Rep. Byron Donalds, a Freedom Caucus member who authored the deal with Main Street Chair Dusty Johnson to avoid a shutdown, reasoned that a government shutdown would not be so bad
GOP Rep. Byron Donalds, a Freedom Caucus member who authored the deal with Main Street Chair Dusty Johnson to avoid a shutdown, reasoned that a government shutdown would not be so bad.
‘People can live without our government for a period of time. I don’t see why not. The sun comes up every day people live their lives. Life goes on.’
Meanwhile Indiana Republican Rep. Victoria Spartz unleashed on ‘weak’ McCarthy in a statement announcing her opposition to the bill.
‘It is a shame our weak speaker cannot even commit to having a commission to discuss our looming fiscal catastrophe,’ she said.
‘Real leadership takes courage and willingness to fight for the country, not for power and a picture on the wall,’ the Ukrainian-born congresswoman went on. ‘The Republican House is failing the American people again and pursuing a path of gamesmanship and circus.’
The speaker then mocked Spartz for retiring.
‘Anybody who criticize you has never worked harder than you. And I mean, if Victoria is concerned about fighting stronger, I wish she would’ve run again and not quit,’ he told reporters.
‘I wish [McCarthy] would work as hard at governing our country as he does at collecting checks,’ Spartz shot back on X.
The deal would hold funding for Defense and the Department of Homeland Security at current levels and cut all other appropriations by eight percent across the board.
The bill does not include disaster relief funding or Ukraine funding.
Even if House Republicans are able to push it through, it will not be passed by the Democrat-controlled Senate or signed by the White House.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the bill an ‘insult’ to Ukraine and said he ‘cannot think of a worse welcome’ for President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is set to visit the Capitol this week, than the House proposal.
Some of the Republicans who now oppose the HFC-Main Street deal insist they don’t want any continuing resolution at all and the House must pass all 12 appropriations bills.
Some say they won’t vote for a CR unless it ‘defunds’ the Justice Department, namely special counsel Jack Smith and his investigations into Trump.
Meanwhile two Freedom Caucus members and Trump-supporting Florida Republicans, Reps. Matt Gaetz and Byron Donalds, sparred over the short term CR, authored by Donalds, on X.
Gaetz claimed that Donalds’ bill ‘gets the job done for Jack Smith.’
Donalds shot back: ‘Matt, tell the people the truth. The DOJ will operate whether the government is shut down or not. Special Counsel’s have always exempted themselves from shutdowns. What’s your plan to get the votes to defund Jack Smith? You’ll need more than tweets and hot takes!!’
‘A Continuing Resolution like the one you filed continues American decline,’ said Gaetz. ‘Abandon this disaster and let’s get one of our best players (you!) back onside.’
Last week Gaetz said it would be ‘shot, chaser’ that he would immediately bring a motion to vacate to the House floor to oust McCarthy if he put up any sort of CR.
Spartz and Gaetz lobbed attacks at McCarthy on Monday
Gaetz also waded into the McCarthy-Spartz back-and-forth.
‘This quote from is disgraceful,’ he wrote on X. ‘Rep. Spartz is retiring after honorable service because her family needs her and she values the most important institution in American life. Kevin attacking a woman for putting her family above ambition & power is truly a new low. Kevin would never understand subjugating ambition for anything, or anyone.’
Rep. Dave Joyce, R-Ohio, leader of the GOP Governance Group, called Gaetz a ‘special person.’
‘In the how many years he’s been here, what has he ever accomplished other than running his mouth?’
Leaders on the deal said they were still pushing the bill to members and trying to dispel the idea that it includes Ukraine funds.
Even Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, a leader on the bill who is not afraid to oppose House GOP leadership, voiced frustrations with those who ‘like to beat their chest and say “this isn’t pure enough.'”