As the clock ticks down to a potential government shutdown, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is making a bold stand.
He is pushing forward with a stopgap spending bill that has been met with resistance from both sides of the aisle. The bill, which is unlikely to pass the Senate and could face hurdles in the House, is being viewed as a litmus test for lawmakers’ stance on border security.
The looming shutdown threatens to disrupt customer service for Medicare and Social Security. However, payments from these programs should continue unaffected as they are funded through permanent appropriations, not annual ones.
Despite this, the potential delays have added an extra layer of urgency to the ongoing debate.
FACT: Democrats would rather shut down our GOVERNMENT than shut down our open border. pic.twitter.com/86jJwdfWtW
— Office of Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (@RepMalliotakis) September 29, 2023
Those opposing the bill argue that the only way forward is through 12 single-subject spending bills for fiscal year 2024. This approach, they believe, would allow for a more focused and effective allocation of funds.
However, McCarthy and his supporters see this as a delay tactic that could potentially lead to a partial government shutdown, similar to the one witnessed in December 2018.
The failure to pass the bill was a significant setback for McCarthy, who has faced mounting criticism from the right wing of his party.
In response to this defeat, he called for an emergency all-conference meeting, promising that he had other ideas to move forward. The House is set to hold votes on Saturday, although the specifics of what will be voted on remain unclear.
This situation has led to growing frustration among rank-and-file Republicans, who feel increasingly alienated by the rightward shift of their party. Representative John James expressed his disappointment, accusing Democrats and the right-wing faction of his party of prioritizing fundraising goals over America’s wellbeing.
Joe Biden is AWOL while Democrats vote to shut down the government instead of securing the border. pic.twitter.com/3oCdU0MykK
— GOP (@GOP) September 29, 2023
Despite the opposition, McCarthy remains steadfast in his commitment to push the bill to the floor, regardless of whether it has the votes to pass.
He challenged his fellow lawmakers to go on record with their stance on border security, framing a vote against the bill as siding with President Biden’s open border policy.
Meanwhile, the Senate is moving forward with its own version of a continuing resolution, which has garnered support from both Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
This Senate CR includes funding for Ukraine and lacks border provisions, a move that McCarthy has stated he will not support in the House.
As the government shutdown looms, the political landscape remains fraught with tension and uncertainty. The outcome of this standoff will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for the future of American politics and the direction of the Republican Party.