Here’s more from the Guardian’s David Smith on the state of play in the House as Kevin McCarthy tries to manage an unruly Republican caucus that can’t agree on funding the government or, potentially, even whether he should remain as speaker:
A short-term spending bill in the US Congress has slammed into opposition from far-right Republicans, intensifying the risk of a government shutdown and Kevin McCarthy losing his speakership.
As another week of negotiations wears on, Republicans in the House of Representatives are in a state of “civil war”, according to the Democratic minority leader, Hakeem Jeffries. Less than two weeks remain to find money to keep federal agencies afloat.
Late on Sunday a group of hardline and moderate Republicans reached agreement on a short-term stopgap spending bill, known as a “continuing resolution” or CR, that could help McCarthy move forward on defence legislation.
The measure would keep the government running until the end of October, giving Congress more time to enact full-scale appropriations for 2024. The Politico website reported that the Heritage Foundation, an influential conservative thinktank, had thrown its weight behind the proposed CR.
But it remains unclear whether it can garner enough Republican support to pass the House. At least a dozen members came out against it or expressed scepticism. Matt Gaetz, a Florida congressman who has called for McCarthy’s removal, tweeted that the CR is “a betrayal of Republicans” while Majorie Taylor Greene of Georgia posted: “I’m a NO!”
There’s no path forward yet to pass a short-term funding measure to keep the US government open beyond 1 October, and if House speaker Kevin McCarthy can’t unite his unruly Republican caucus, some have wondered if he may seek an agreement with the Democratic minority.
The GOP controls the House by only four votes, and lawmakers who want to avoid the economically damage spectacle of the federal government running out of money could unite with Democrats on what would probably be a straightforward short-term funding measure that does not address any other legislative priorities. But if he does that, Punchbowl News reports far-right House Republicans may attempt to oust him from the speaker’s post, taking advantage of an agreement McCarthy made at the start of the year.
“The thing that would force the motion to vacate is if Kevin has to rely on Democrat votes to pass a” continuing resolution, as the funding measure is known, Republican Ken Buck told Punchbowl. But the lawmaker also admitted that he’s not sure whether the GOP can reach an agreement on funding the government.
“I don’t see how we can pass the bill [a CR] without Democrat votes,” Buck said.
Good morning, US politics live blog readers. We’re 12 days away from the US government shutting down when its funding runs out on 1 October, but in the House of Representatives, Republicans are consumed with infighting and an agreement’s prospects are highly uncertain. The split is between House speaker Kevin McCarthy and a group of the most conservative lawmakers – many of whom prevented him from becoming the chamber’s leader for days at the start of the year, and remain bitter over a deal he negotiated with Joe Biden in May to raise the debt ceiling while cutting some spending. McCarthy is trying to get House Republicans to vote on a bill that will fund the government for a few weeks while cutting some spending and further enforcing security at US borders, but the rightwing lawmakers refuse to support it. Nonetheless, the House is expected to today take an early vote on the measure – and if it fails, the odds of a shutdown will creep ever higher.
Here’s what else we are watching today:
Joe Biden is in New York City for the United Nations general assembly, and we have a live blog covering all the day’s speakers, including Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Donald Trump is trying to use his mug shot to boost support among Black voters, who typically vote Democratic, but there’s no evidence yet his strategy is working, Axios reports.
Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, shared a photo of the five detained Americans and two family members released by Iran yesterday, as they flew home to the United States.
Source of data and images: theguardian