Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) looks to have lost control of House conservatives who are digging in and tanking his stop-gap vote because they want spending cuts and the spigot shut off to Ukraine.
(Video Credit: 23 ABC News | KERO)
McCarthy has visibly lost his patience over the deep divide in the House. He just lost a procedural vote for a second time to begin debate on a defense funding bill Thursday and he’s furious over it.
McCarthy vented to reporters after the vote failed, calling the situation “frustrating in the sense that I don’t understand why anybody votes against bringing the idea and having the debate.”
“And then you got all the amendments if you don’t like the bill. This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down. It doesn’t work,” he carped.
CNN’s chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju gave his take on McCarthy’s frustration and the pickle that he finds himself in currently.
(Video Credit: CNN)
“So viewers may have a hard time sorting out all the budget and spending issues they have to deal with here on the Hill. The issue that they had collapsed right now was a yearlong bill to fund the Pentagon,” Raju pointed out.
“Typically, Republicans all vote in lockstep for that bill. Typically, they also vote for the rule. That is the first procedural vote that has to happen. Typically, the majority party votes for it. This time in what has been now been a common practice among these hardliners, they are voting against moving forward on the rule, the process, as leverage to try to extract concessions, leaving McCarthy in a bit of a jam. Quite a jam,” he noted.
Calls for McCarthy’s removal as Speaker of the House have been growing louder and louder over the last few days. The loudest voice comes from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) who is urging fellow Republicans to make good on their threats to remove McCarthy for not keeping his promises.
McCarthy lost it last week in a closed-door meeting over the specter of being booted, allegedly asserting, “If you think you scare me because you want to file a motion to vacate, move the f***ing motion.”
(Video Credit: Washington Post)
Luna is a Legend https://t.co/WqFfaEPMqI
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) September 21, 2023
Gaetz called McCarthy “reckless and unhinged and rattled” earlier this week.
He also warned McCarthy about turning to Democrats for the votes he needs on the spending bill.
Senate Republicans are predicting that McCarthy will be forced to reach out to House Democrats to get the votes he needs to prevent a government shutdown at the end of next week.
“GOP senators don’t think McCarthy will be able to unify his entire GOP conference behind any measure to prevent an Oct. 1 shutdown and will have to rely on Democrats to keep federal departments and agencies open,” The Hill reported.
(Video Credit: Forbes Breaking News)
“But they predict the Speaker won’t reach out across the aisle until the last possible moment to avoid a backlash from House conservatives, who are threatening to offer a motion to essentially dump him as Speaker if he does not hew to their demands for major spending cuts,” the media outlet predicted. “The reality, they say, is that the only spending measure that can pass both the Senate and House is one that has bipartisan support.”
“He’s a new Speaker, this is a test of his Speakership,” one Republican senator who requested anonymity told The Hill. “Sooner or later he’s going to have to go to [House Democratic Leader] Hakeem Jeffries [NY] because we’re going to get a CR on this side and what will pass here just is not going to get 218 Republicans in the House.”
Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman claimed that he received multiple texts from Republican leadership blaming the rebels for being responsible for “f***ing chaos” and “a total sh*t show.”
“Fucking chaos” … “a total shit show”
Two texts I’ve gotten from inside the House Republican leadership in the last few minutes.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) September 21, 2023
“We are very dysfunctional right now,” Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) remarked after the failed vote, according to NBC News. “Speaker Pelosi, love her or hate her, she put something out there and they’d rally around it.”
Moderate Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY) described the GOP impasse as a “clown show” and warned that pragmatists would work with Democrats to keep the government funded.
“For my colleagues, they have to come to a realization: If they are unable or unwilling to govern, others will. And in a divided government where you have Democrats controlling the Senate, a Democrat controlling the White House, there needs to be a realization that you’re not going to get everything you want,” Lawler stated, according to NBC News.
Republican rebels BLOCK Pentagon funding bill in gut punch to Kevin McCarthy: Five hardliners including Marjorie Taylor Greene sink vote with just nine days until a shutdown
— News News News (@NewsNew97351204) September 21, 2023
“And just throwing a temper tantrum and stomping your feet, frankly not only is it wrong — it’s pathetic,” he said.
Thursday’s vote failed, 212-216. The Republicans who voted no were Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Dan Bishop (R-N.C.), Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), and Andy Biggs and Eli Crane, both from Arizona. Rules Committee Chairman Tom Col (R-Okla.) switched his vote to no, a procedural move that will allow him to bring the bill up again.
GOP absences included Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), who is undergoing cancer treatment; Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.), who just had a baby; and Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), who is recovering from surgery.
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