Yet another crushing loss for Speaker Kevin McCarthy came on Thursday when a minority of conservatives scuttled a crucial vote that was supposed to mark the end of days of intraparty fighting.
McCarthy was unable to bring the party’s own defence funding bill to the floor because of the obstruction of GOP hardliners for the second time in three days. Many Republican leaders were taken aback by this development since they had thought they had convinced enough dissenters to bring up the Pentagon budget bill.
A potential government shutdown might begin on October 1st, and the ultraconservatives’ move only confirmed what many in the GOP already suspected.
Republicans in the House of Representatives expressed outrage.
“This hurts like hell. It’s making my head hurt. “This is a very difficult series of missteps by our conference,” Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) told HEADLINESFOREVER. It was put to them, “If you can’t pass [the defence bill], what can you do?”
Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.), a swing vote, also expressed his frustration with the hardliners as he walked down the Capitol steps following the vote’s failure.
There are “some people playing policy warfare” and “I think we need to move our country forward,” he remarked. You may say that “we’re pretty frustrated.”
Because of this setback, McCarthy’s intentions for a weekend session to conduct House business are now highly unlikely to go forward.
Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.): “If we have votes for the rest of this week, I’ll be surprised.”
The defence bill was expected to be approved by the leadership by Friday. A short-term financing bill, which lacks the necessary votes to pass the house, would be considered next, before they moved on to another full-year funding bill with greater support.
McCarthy and his group, though, appear to be constrained at the moment, unable to produce any tangible results. Next week, Republican leaders may begin calling up individual funding bills while attempting to make further cuts as part of a larger push to shake loose resistance to their short-term budget patch.
The Republicans in the House, according to Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) to the press, “are very dysfunctional right now.”
They clearly lack the ability to count. Burchett said that the leadership is “trying to work something out,” and that some members still wanted concessions, which “better be written in stone.”
After the defeat, Republicans said they had no idea what would happen next as they left the floor. Ten days from now, the government will be shut down.
Reps. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) and Ken Buck (R-Colo.) told leadership that they would flip their votes on advancing the defence bill, allowing it to move to a full passage vote after helping to block it earlier this week, giving Republicans confidence that they had the votes to move the bill.
Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga) and Eli Crane (R-Ariz.), who voted for the rule earlier this week, reversed course and voted against it on Thursday, causing more problems for Republicans. Meanwhile, Democrats scurried to seek down their missing members during the vote, ushering in two tardy lawmakers, in an effort to minimise their own absences and maximise the GOP’s razor-thin majority.
According to two persons with knowledge of the talks, Democratic leaders are still making an effort to lure back additional members, including Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), who stated Tuesday night that she tested positive for Covid.
Without naming either Greene or Crane, Louisiana Republican Clay Higgins criticised lawmakers for “making inconsistent stands of their own principles.”
Higgins joked, “If you find out what my schedule is will you please advise me? ” when questioned about the upcoming days’ plans. Simply put, I am curious.