House Speaker McCarthy faces a nearly impossible task in trying to unify the House GOP and fund the government
WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing new challenges to his leadership, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy She’s trying to accomplish what sometimes seems impossible — working hard to convince House Republicans to come together and pass a conservative bill to keep the federal government open.
It’s an almost useless practice It helped McCarthy keep his job, but has little chance of actually preventing a federal shutdown. Anything Republicans come up with in the House will almost certainly be rejected by the Senate Democrats and most Republicans together want to fund the government.
With time running short, plans to hold a test vote on Tuesday in the House of Representatives were scrapped as negotiations resumed. Congress faces a September 30 deadline to pass the legislation and submit the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk to become law. Otherwise, the United States faces widespread shutdowns and disruptions of the federal government.
“The ball is in Kevin’s court,” said Republican Rep. Ralph Norman of the Freedom Caucus.
The House’s latest funding proposal, a compromise between members of the hard-right Freedom Caucus and other more pragmatic Main Street conservatives, was almost dead on arrival, left languishing even after McCarthy loaded it with spending cuts and spending cuts. Republican priorities in border security package.
Behind closed doors on Tuesday, The speaker was trying to emphasize The political repercussions of the government shutdown on Republicans, warning them that no party will win the shutdown.
Unlike a closed GOP meeting last week, when… McCarthy is angry and frustrated After unleashing profanity on his colleagues, he tried a different tone when addressing his members Tuesday morning in the Capitol basement.
McCarthy appeared calm and collected, calling the funding plan a mere proposal and leaving time for rank-and-file members to debate its merits, according to Republicans familiar with the meeting.
However, one by one Republicans rose to speak, telling McCarthy that the current plan would not win their votes. With a narrow majority, he needs the support of almost all Republicans.
Rep. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma, one of the negotiators for the Main Street group, later urged her colleagues not to let “the perfect be the enemy of the good.”
The attempt to calm tensions among Republicans comes as tensions run high and senior figures in the majority try to seize the upper hand — with some trying to lead and others hoping to derail any plans for a settlement.
Two prominent Florida conservatives, Matt Gaetz and newcomer Byron Donalds, are sniping in the halls and across social media, with Gaetz criticizing the deal made by Donalds and others as not conservative enough.
Freshman Rep. Victoria Spartz, Republican of Indiana, pointedly attacked McCarthy, calling him a “weak speaker.”
One veteran lawmaker, Arkansas Republican Rep. Steve Womack, warned that infighting could derail the House GOP, as it did with previous speakers like John Boehner and Paul Ryan. Both retired earlier than expected amid continuing threats of ouster.
Womack said he fears there is a “bigger fight” brewing in the House GOP caucus “that is personal in nature because of the conflict between some members and the speaker.”
One month financing package What McCarthy supports would impose sharp spending cuts exceeding 8% on many government services, while avoiding defense and veterans accounts. It will continue for 31 days until House Republicans can approve traditional appropriations bills needed to fund the government.
The White House released a memo detailing cuts from the Republican plan, saying it would mean fewer Border Patrol agents, school teacher aides, Meals on Wheels for seniors and Head Start slots for children.
The White House said: “The extremist Republicans in the House of Representatives are playing partisan games with people’s lives and moving our country toward a government shutdown, instead of working in a bipartisan manner to keep the government open and address the urgent needs of the American people.”
Across the Capitol, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer opened the chamber warning of the deep cuts Republicans are planning with their “draconian” and “reckless” spending plan.
In essence, House Republicans are trying to undo the agreement McCarthy reached with Biden earlier this year to set federal funding levels as part of the debt ceiling fight. Conservatives rejected the measure then, even though it was approved and signed into law, and are trying to dismantle it now.
McCarthy tried to rally Republicans around an interim funding plan that he described as a “bottom-up” approach to legislation negotiated between his various factions.
But House Republicans have lagged behind in these efforts, with limited time to act. Whatever bills they pass are certain to stall in the Senate, where bipartisan groups of senators have already begun approving their own funding bills, some at levels above the Biden-McCarthy agreement.
Nearly a dozen Republicans who expressed dissatisfaction with McCarthy’s proposal see the current impasse as a watershed moment to hold the House speaker to his commitments to significantly cut government spending.
“If my party won’t stand, what’s the right thing to do?” Spartz said. “No matter how hard it is, I don’t think anyone else would do it.”
When Spartz was asked if she would support efforts to oust McCarthy, she said she was “open to anything.”
But Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, who helped craft the proposal, dared fellow Freedom Caucus members and other “so-called conservative colleagues” to reject the package — especially the “Dream Bill” provisions for dealing with immigrants. On the US border with Mexico.
“If my fellow conservatives want to vote against this, explain that,” Roy said.
The holdouts want steeper cuts that stick to the $1.47 trillion in annual discretionary funding they introduced earlier this year to raise the country’s debt limit.
By passing this opening proposal in April, McCarthy was able to force Biden and the Democratic-controlled Senate to the negotiating table and ultimately pass a compromise that reduced federal spending. It remains to be seen whether he will be able to achieve such a feat again.
“We’re throwing it all at the wall right now,” said Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif.
This article originally appeared on apnews.com