Sep 18, 2023 - Politics & Policy

House GOP struggles with itself on stopgap funding plan

A full moon is seen behind the U.S. Capitol Dome, in Washington, D.C., the United States, Aug. 30, 2023. (Photo by Aaron Schwartz/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Photo: Aaron Schwartz/Xinhua via Getty Images

House Republicans leaders' hopes for a short-term spending plan that would temporarily avoid government shutdown at the end of the month quickly has run aground, as more than a dozen conservatives vowed not to support it.

Why it matters: The plan's rapid failure reflects the difficulty the GOP-led House faces in agreeing on a government spending plan: It called for budget cuts that never would have cleared the Democrat-led Senate, but wouldn't cut spending enough for compromise-resistant conservatives.

  • House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), leading a razor-thin majority, can afford to lose only four Republican votes if there are no absences.
  • The plan negotiated Sunday by the House Freedom Caucus and the more moderate moderate Republican Main Street Caucus didn't come close to that.
  • Three GOP sources confirmed that a more conservative stopgap measure that falls closer in line with the Republican Study Committee's asks has been drafted.
  • Conservatives have adamantly called for significant spending cuts in appropriations bills and any stop-gap measure that comes to the floor. They also want border security measures.

What they're saying: Those opposing Sunday's plan included Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz (Florida), Cory Mills (Florida), Andy Ogles (Tennessee), Eli Crane (Arizona), Dan Bishop (North Carolina), Matt Rosendale (Montana) and Ken Buck (Colorado).

  • "It's irresponsible for us to be in this situation and not deal seriously with a looming fiscal catastrophe," Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) told Axios.
  • Mills tweeted that he was a "HARD NO!"

The big picture: Some GOP lawmakers have said the stalemate has put McCarthy's speakership on rockier ground, and an increasing number of conservatives are criticizing his handling of the appropriations process.

  • In recent days, Gaetz and a few other conservatives repeatedly have threatened to call for a vote to oust McCarthy from his leadership post if he does not more robustly support their efforts to approve significant spending cuts and other conservative priorities.
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