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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
HomeLatest NewsPreserving the speakership or averting government shutdown within 13 words

Preserving the speakership or averting government shutdown within 13 words

Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, is facing a tough decision. Conservative hard-liners, including Rep. Matt Gaetz, are threatening to overthrow McCarthy if he works with Democrats to pass a short-term measure to keep the government open. However, if McCarthy wants to avoid a disruptive shutdown when federal funding runs out, he may have to team up with Democrats and put a continuing resolution (CR) on the floor. A shutdown would have serious consequences, including the halt of paychecks for federal workers. McCarthy is under pressure to make a career-altering choice that could cost him his speakership.

With only five days before a potential shutdown, McCarthy is desperately trying to formulate a new strategy. The proposed strategy, pitched by Gaetz and moderate Rep. Marc Molinaro, is to package four individual appropriations bills under a single rule, with each bill getting its own vote. These bills would include funding for the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Agriculture, and state-foreign operations, and they would involve significant spending cuts. McCarthy hopes these cuts will convince conservatives to support a temporary CR to keep the government open while giving Republicans more time to pass the rest of their spending bills. However, there’s no guarantee that McCarthy can gather enough GOP votes to pass either the funding package or a short-term bill. This could force him to rely on Democrats, thereby risking his speakership and facing a motion to vacate.

McCarthy doesn’t want a shutdown, but he acknowledges that the GOP’s slim majority leaves just a few conservatives with the power to block any legislation. Gaetz, who opposes a short-term funding bill, has threatened to file a motion to vacate if McCarthy brings a CR to the floor. McCarthy may have to choose between shutting down the government and losing his speakership or striking a deal with Democrats. If it comes to a motion to vacate, Democrats will have to decide whether to help oust McCarthy or support him. Meanwhile, McCarthy’s far-right detractors are criticizing his leadership and blaming him for the current situation. Democrats are staying quiet about whether they would save McCarthy’s political career, but privately, there are misgivings about the idea.

In summary, McCarthy is facing a difficult choice between working with Democrats to pass a short-term spending measure and risking his speakership or shutting down the government and facing the consequences. Conservative hard-liners are pressuring him not to work with Democrats, but McCarthy may have no choice if he wants to avoid a highly disruptive shutdown. The proposed strategy is to package four appropriations bills under a single rule in an attempt to gain conservative support. However, passing either the funding package or a short-term bill is not guaranteed, and McCarthy may have to rely on Democrats. The outcome will determine McCarthy’s political future and could lead to a motion to vacate if conservative members feel betrayed.

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