House Republican leadership on Tuesday refused to vote to advance a short-term spending deal, a sign that the federal government’s chances of avoiding a shutdown by September 30 are fading.
The cancellation of Tuesday’s vote is the latest sign of massive internal unrest within the GOP that will likely be the cause of a looming government shutdown.
The short-term deal negotiated between the right-wing Freedom Caucus and the pragmatic conservative Main Street Caucus would have kept funding for the Department of Defense and Homeland Security (DHS) at 2023 levels and triggered an 8 percent cut for all other agencies.
In addition to E-Verify, it would also introduce the provisions of the House Republicans’ border bill, HR 2. The bill ignores funding for Ukraine and disaster relief.
The short-term continuing resolution (CR) would have extended the funding deadline to October 30, giving Congress an additional month to pass budget bills and fund the government for fiscal year 2024.
Still, it faced opposition from more than a dozen Republicans, mostly from the Freedom Caucus, as those who worked on the deal wanted to know exactly what they wanted.
House Republican leadership on Tuesday refused to vote to advance a short-term spending deal, a sign that the federal government’s chances of avoiding a shutdown by September 30 are fading
McCarthy, in a closed session, urged those who opposed the deal to march to Majority Whip Tom Emmer’s office and explain what they were against.
Some opponents were seen entering the whip’s office after the meeting to air their grievances.
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, a Freedom Caucus member who helped craft the deal, had this to say about the opposition: “I find it extremely difficult to see the opposition to an 8 percent cut over time of 30 days in exchange for explaining or defending the most conservative and strict border security measure we have ever passed outside of this body.’
At other times, Roy found himself on the same side as the deal’s opponents, most of whom had actively opposed Speaker McCarthy and his legislative priorities in the past.
He said there are some who are trying to “evolve” by saying the deal is a “misconduct,” but “the real misconduct is trying to force a shutdown without a coordinated and concerted message.” [from] the entire Republican Conference.’
Failing to get conservatives on board with a spending bill leaves the door open to a repeal proposal — which Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz has repeatedly threatened to use to unseat McCarthy.
If McCarthy fails to rally Republicans around a spending deal, he may have to propose one that Democrats could vote for, a move that is sure to draw the ire of his far-right caucus.
Some of those opposed to the deal say the House should stick to its original plan and pass 12 separate budget bills to fund each agency individually. That way, members could vote for one and not the other, rather than having to vote on whether the government receives funding.
But with less than 12 days until the end of the fiscal year, that feat would be nearly impossible, especially since the Senate would also have to pass 12 bills and vote with the House’s proposals.
The House of Representatives is preparing to vote Tuesday on the defense spending bill that was introduced last week amid conservative opposition.
Despite conservative political supporters opposing Democratic votes, some right-wing members voted against it in protest – saying they wanted to see the total cost of all 12 budget bills before voting for one.
Others, like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., claim the bill includes funding for Ukraine and funds special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation of Donald Trump.
“This is just petty, petty domestic politics,” Republican Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, lead author of the deal, told DailyMail.com. “We’re cutting the Justice Department by eight percent in our legislation – who thinks it’s better to just close?”
“Shutdowns do not exclude the closure of special advisers,” he continued. “There is now a history where the special agents who are deployed continue their work, no matter how stupid and disastrous it is. “During a shutdown, they continue that work because the DOJ considers them essential services.”
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, a member of the Freedom Caucus who helped draft the deal, weighed in on the opposition: “I find it extremely difficult to quell opposition to an 8 percent cut over 30 months.” days in exchange for explaining or defending the most conservative and strict border security measures we have ever adopted outside of this body.
McCarthy also warned of the impact a shutdown would have, while denying that members of his conference wanted that outcome.
“Nobody wants a shutdown,” he told reporters. “That’s not true.” Think for a moment about what a shutdown does – it results in our troops no longer being paid. How can you have more influence in this situation?
He had previously warned the right flank that a shutdown would also hamper the impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden.
Even if the CR deal passes in the House, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has vowed the bill will fail in the Senate, calling it an “insult” to Ukraine in the same week that President Volodymyr Zelensky signed one Planning a visit to the Capitol.
Ukraine is another internal source of conflict within the Republican Party.
With U.S. aid to Ukraine topping $100 billion in taxpayer money, a growing cadre of Republicans in the House are weary of spending money on the Eastern European country’s war against Russia — while senators largely emphasize the importance of funding the war effort .
Asked whether he would commit to additional legislation to support Ukraine during a meeting with the Ukrainian president this week, McCarthy said: “Will Zelensky be elected to Congress?” Is he our president? I have questions for him. Where is the responsibility for the money we have already spent?’
The White House has asked Congress to approve an additional $24 billion for Ukraine.
A letter sent by White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young to Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, and a number of other Republicans included a table of the over $100 billion that the U.S. has sent sent to Ukraine.
Ukrainian-born Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., said she appreciated the need for oversight of Ukraine aid but warned her colleagues not to fall victim to Russian propaganda.
“Don’t underestimate Russian propaganda.” “The Russians are very good at it,” she told reporters. “They’re trying to destabilize. You saw that in our elections.”
“They’re investing a tremendous amount of time and money to … get people upset.”
The congresswoman called McCarthy a “weak” leader on Monday and signaled on Tuesday that she respects Democratic and socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders more than the Republican leader.
“Don’t tell people, ‘I’ll fight for you’ and ‘I’ll do this and that.'” You know what? Just say we don’t have the backbone. “We are afraid to challenge the big machine.”
On Monday she called for the creation of a formal commission to investigate spending cuts.
“When Bernie Sanders says, ‘I’m a socialist,’ guess what? At least he’s honest about that.’