McCarthy frustrated as GOP holdouts threaten progress ahead of government shutdown
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is cautiously optimistic about advancing appropriations bills and a temporary stopgap measure to avoid a government shutdown.
In just six days, federal funding is set to lapse, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is cautiously optimistic about the possibility of rallying enough support from his party to advance appropriations bills and a temporary stopgap measure to prevent a government shutdown this weekend. However, McCarthy acknowledges that there will be challenges along the way.
The House is scheduled to take procedural votes later this week to advance their individual spending bills, a process that has been disrupted by hard-line conservatives aiming to take control of the appropriations process. Despite this, McCarthy believes he can gather enough support to sway those who have obstructed progress.
Lawmakers will reconvene on Tuesday evening to vote on advancing a combined rule that includes four appropriations bills, paving the way for votes on these bills later in the week. These bills cover spending for the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and State and Foreign Operations appropriations.
Following that, McCarthy hopes to bring a continuing resolution or temporary spending measure to the floor this week, ahead of the shutdown deadline. However, some hard-line conservatives have vowed to oppose this move. McCarthy criticized these members, emphasizing that a government shutdown would result in critical agencies losing funding, including the troops, border agents, and Coast Guard.
It remains uncertain whether there is sufficient support among House Republicans to advance appropriations bills this week, particularly after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene announced her opposition to the rules vote. McCarthy can only afford to lose four GOP votes, leaving little room for error.
Congress has until September 30 to pass the budget for the next fiscal year, after which the government will run out of money and shut down until a deal is reached. Lawmakers must advance 12 individual appropriations bills in each chamber before sending the final product to the president for approval. However, House Republicans and Senate Democrats disagree on overall spending numbers, making the process challenging.
Given the time constraints, it is unlikely that all 12 appropriations bills will be advanced and a compromise negotiated before the shutdown deadline. This has led some lawmakers to consider a continuing resolution to maintain current funding levels until a final agreement is reached.
However, this idea has been rejected by a dozen conservatives in the House, leaving McCarthy with the option to work with Democrats on a stopgap measure or wait for the Senate to make progress. Even if the House manages to pass a continuing resolution, it is uncertain whether it can do so in time to avoid a partial shutdown.
Despite the obstacles, McCarthy remains hopeful and determined. He is willing to explore all possibilities and never gives up on finding a solution.