On Friday, a group of GOP hardliners, including Representatives Matt Gaetz of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and Nancy Mace of South Carolina, joined Democrats in voting against the House Republicans’ stopgap funding bill.
As a result, the chance of a government shutdown over the weekend significantly increased. The vote was a significant setback for Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California, whose leadership has been continuously threatened by some members of his party’s right flank throughout the spending battle.
Federal government funding is set to expire at the end of the day on September 30. If the House and Senate fail to reach an agreement by then, a partial shutdown could force all “nonessential” federal functions to come to a standstill. To avoid this, a short-term funding extension, known as a continuing resolution (CR), is almost certainly required to give lawmakers more time to put together 12 individual spending bills for the fiscal year 2024.
However, Republican leaders have faced difficulty reaching an agreement within their conference. A group of conservatives has voiced their opposition to any CR, arguing that it would simply extend the policies of the previously Democratically-controlled Congress.
The House GOP’s CR proposal included an amendment to reduce spending for its month-long duration to fiscal 2022 levels, which is approximately $130 billion less than the current year’s budget. Additionally, the proposal featured elements from House Republicans’ border security bill, and according to McCarthy, a new provision would require the creation of a bipartisan committee to study the federal debt.
McCarthy and his allies have attempted to sway the holdouts by accusing them of aligning with Democrats and giving Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, as well as the White House, more power to pass government funding without conservative policy riders. McCarthy stated before the vote on Friday morning, “Every member will have to go on record… Are they willing to secure the border or do they side with President Biden on an open border and vote against a measure to keep government open?”