Shutdown Looms (Once Again) As McCarthy Has Two Weeks To Pull A Rabbit Out Of Something
Rep. Kevin ‘secret concessions‘ McCarthy (R-CA) is facing perhaps the biggest challenge of his eight months as House Speaker; avoiding yet another government shutdown with a fractured caucus (ouch!).
Both the GOP controlled House and the Democratic-led Senate have until Sept. 30 to avoid the fourth potential government shutdown in a decade.
McCarthy overcame a major hurdle last week when he announced an impeachment inquiry into the Biden family, leading to a Sunday night proposal for a 30-day stopgap funding bill, which would allow House GOP leaders to push through bills to fund the Pentagon and DHS.
As Punchbowl News notes;
We scooped Sunday evening that the two sides had an agreement. You can read the text of the proposed CR here. Here’s a summary of the proposal from the Main Street Caucus, and here’s one from the House Freedom Caucus.
The highlights: This House Republican CR would cut spending except for defense, veterans and Department of Homeland Security funding. Along with the modified H.R. 2 provisions (no mandatory use of E-Verify for businesses), it includes new prohibitions on asylum claims and other hardline immigration restrictions. However, billions of dollars of disaster aid sought by President Joe Biden isn’t in there.
None of this will be acceptable to House Democrats, the Senate or White House, so this isn’t going to help avoid a shutdown on Oct. 1.
On Monday, the Rules Committee is scheduled to mark up the Continuing Resoplution, with House Majority Leader Steve Scalise telling members on a Sunday night call that there will be a Wednesday vote on the Defense bill, and a Thursday vote on the CR.
That said, questions continue to swirl over whether McCarthy actually has enough GOP support to pass the CR – which more than a dozen conservatives have argued against on the grounds that it continues to fund the Ukraine war and “woke” policies by the Biden administration. According to Punchbowl, McCarthy has just a four-vote margin, with ‘some Republicans likely to miss votes due to health issues.’
For months, I have made it very clear that I will not be supporting a CR. And this week is no different.
A CR is a continuation of Nancy Pelosi’s budget and Joe Biden’s policies. We were assured in January that we weren’t going to use the Democrats’ gimmicks to fund government…
— Matt Rosendale (@RepRosendale) September 18, 2023
McCarthy “literally has no room for error here.”
CR negotiated by Byron Donalds and Dusty Johnson.
No policy riders in the CR. So it’s all the policies from last year’s Democrat appropriations, with an 8% cut. Plus the border bill, but no E-Verify.
I’m a NO.
No money for Ukraine, COVID, or weaponized Gov.
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) September 18, 2023
Punchbowl lays out four dangers facing McCarthy:
No. 1: The obvious challenge for McCarthy’s leadership team is whipping this vote. One top House Republican called it a “very heavy lift” on Sunday night.
No. 2: If the leadership can’t pass this CR, then what’s their plan? The government may shut down anyway, despite McCarthy’s exhortations that it would boost Biden. But if House Republicans can’t pass something on their own, McCarthy may be forced to choose between staying on as speaker or avoiding a shutdown.
No. 3: The biggest challenge for McCarthy is that some members won’t see this CR as an opening gambit in negotiations with the Senate and White House. They’ll say that the final deal – whether a stopgap bill or full-year funding package – doesn’t go far enough on their priorities. Just as they did on “Limit, Save, Grow,” these House Republicans are likely to blame McCarthy.
No. 4: Some on the right – namely McCarthy foe Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) – have said they want to boot McCarthy if he extends government funding for a short period of time. Gaetz has been telling people that he blames the speaker for a House Ethics Committee probe. Whether that’s driving Gaetz is unclear, but McCarthy can’t afford a motion-to-vacate vote right now.
The next 13 days of DC drama leading up to the inevitable passage of the CR should be fun, eh?