Republican Party leadership in the House of Representatives announced a vote Tuesday to advance a short-term spending deal, in a sign of the federal government’s dwindling chances of averting a shutdown by September 30.
Tuesday’s election cancellation is the latest sign of massive internal strife within the Republican Party, which will likely trigger a looming government shutdown.
The short-term deal, brokered between the right-wing Freedom Caucus and the pragmatic conservative Main Street Caucus, would have kept Defense and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding at 2023 levels and imposed an eight percent cut to all other agencies have led.
In addition to E-Verify, it would also implement the provisions of the Republicans’ border bill, HR 2. The bill leaves out funding for Ukraine and disaster relief.
The Short-Term Continuing Resolution (CR) would have pushed back the funding deadline to October 30, giving Congress an additional month to pass appropriations bills and fund the government for the 2024 fiscal year.
But it still drew opposition from more than a dozen Republicans, largely from the Freedom Caucus, as those working on the deal demanded to know exactly what they wanted.
Republican Party leadership in the House of Representatives voted Tuesday to advance a near-term spending deal, in a sign of the federal government’s dwindling chances of avoiding a shutdown by September 30.
McCarthy demanded at a closed-door meeting that those opposed to the deal march to Majority Whip Tom Emmer’s office and explain what they were against.
A number of opponents were seen walking into the whip’s office after the meeting to state their complaints.
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, a member of the Freedom Caucus who helped craft the deal, weighed in on the opposition: “I find it extremely difficult to explain the opposition to an eight percent cut over 30 days.” or defend in exchange for the most conservative and strong border security measures we have ever gotten out of this body.”
At other times, Roy has found himself on the same side as the deal’s opponents, most of whom have actively opposed Chairman McCarthy and his legislative priorities in the past.
He said there are some who are trying to “make progress” by saying the deal is “malpractice,” but “the real malpractice is trying to get a shutdown without a coordinated and coordinated message (from) the entire Republican conference.” ‘
If it fails to get conservatives on board with a spending bill, the door is open for a motion to evict — which Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz has threatened to bring forward to repeatedly oust McCarthy.
If McCarthy fails to get Republicans on board with a spending deal, he may have to put forward an agreement that Democrats can vote for, a move sure to anger his far-right faction.
Some of those opposed to the deal say the House should stick to its original plan and pass 12 separate appropriations bills to fund each agency separately. That way, members could vote for one and not the other, rather than having to vote on whether the government would be funded.
But with less than twelve days until the end of the budget year, this would be almost impossible, especially since the Senate would also have to approve twelve bills and bring them into line with the proposals of the House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives is set to vote on Tuesday’s defense spending bill, which was introduced last week amid conservative opposition.
Despite conservative policymakers who will reject Democratic votes, some right-wing members voted against the proposal in protest — arguing that they wanted to see the top costs of all 12 appropriations bills before voting for one.
Others, like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., argue the bill includes funding for Ukraine and funds special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Donald Trump.
“That’s just petty, petty internal politics,” Republican Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Florida, lead author of the deal, told DailyMail.com. ‘We are cutting our legislation at the Ministry of Justice by eight percent. Who thinks it’s better to just close?’
“Shutdowns do not preclude specialty consulting firms,” he continued. “There is now a history of the active special counsels continuing their work no matter how stupid and disastrous it is. They continue that work during a shutdown because the DOJ considers them essential services.”
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, a member of the Freedom Caucus who helped craft the deal, weighed in on the opposition: “I find it extremely difficult to explain the opposition to an eight percent cut over 30 days.” or defend in exchange for the most conservative and strong border security measures we have ever brought out of this body.”
McCarthy also warned of the consequences a shutdown would cause, while denying that members of his conference wanted that outcome.
“No one wants a shutdown,” he told reporters. ‘That is not true. Think for a moment what a shutdown does: it stops paying our troops. How can you exert more influence in that situation?’
He has previously warned the right flank that a shutdown would also hamper the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
Even if the CR deal were to pass the House of Representatives, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has vowed that the bill will fail in the Senate. He calls it an “insult” to Ukraine in the same week that President Volodymyr Zelensky plans a visit to the Capitol.
Ukraine is another point of internal strife within the Republican Party.
As U.S. aid to Ukraine surpasses $100 billion in taxpayer money, a growing group of Republicans in the House of Representatives have grown weary of doling out cash for the Eastern European country’s war with Russia — while senators largely emphasize the importance of financing the war effort.
Asked whether he would commit to an additional bill to help Ukraine during a meeting with the Ukrainian president this week, McCarthy said: “Has Zelensky been 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 another $24 billion for Ukraine.
A letter that Shalanda Young, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, sent to Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, and several other Republicans included a spreadsheet of the more than $100 billion the U.S. has sent to Ukraine sent.
Ukrainian-born Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., said she appreciated the need for oversight of Ukrainian aid but warned her colleagues against falling victim to Russian propaganda.
‘Don’t underestimate Russian propaganda. Russians are very good at it,” she told reporters. ‘They are trying to destabilize. You saw that in our elections.’
“They spend a tremendous amount of time and money trying to … get people excited.”
The congresswoman on Monday blasted McCarthy as a “weak” leader and indicated on Tuesday that she respects democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders more than the Republican leader.
“Don’t tell people, ‘I’m going to fight for you’ and ‘I’m going to 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 had asked a formal committee to investigate the cuts.
“If Bernie Sanders says, ‘I’m a socialist,’ you know what? At least he’s honest about that.’