On Friday, a group of House conservatives voted against a GOP bill aimed at preventing a government shutdown. This vote marked a significant and embarrassing defeat for Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), with a shutdown over the weekend appearing increasingly likely.
More than 20 Republicans, alongside Democrats, opposed the legislation, resulting in a final tally of 232-198. The bill had earlier advanced in a party-line vote on Friday. However, it faced insurmountable challenges in the Senate, where Democrats were expected to reject it, and the White House issued a veto threat in the morning.
The chances of a government shutdown, scheduled for Saturday night if a short-term funding bill isn’t passed, have now increased.
Democrats criticized the GOP stopgap for its spending cuts and policy provisions.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, condemned the bill, stating that a 30 percent reduction in federal government funding reflects a lack of responsibility in governance. She emphasized the severe consequences it would inflict on the American people, whether or not it becomes law.
“A 30 percent slashing of the federal government only ‘continues’ the majority’s inability and unwillingness to govern responsibly. I would argue you cannot call it a ‘conservative’ resolution either — there is nothing conservative about the indiscriminate destruction of public investments in America’s families,” DeLauro said on the House floor Friday.
“But regardless of what it is called, this bill inflicts serious consequences on the American people — whether it is signed into law, which it never will be, or because of the costly shutdown it triggers,” she added.
Despite the defeat, McCarthy signaled his determination to keep government operations running. When asked if the GOP stopgap bill was the House’s last opportunity to avert a shutdown, the Speaker delivered a familiar message.
“You have watched me time and again, have you ever known me to quit after one time if it doesn’t succeed?” the McCarthy said. “I don’t stop.”
Leaving the chamber after the failed vote, he said his strategy is to “keep going.”
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed McCarthy for catering to the hard right and pursuing a “doomed mission.”
“Speaker McCarthy held a vote on a truly radical CR (continuing resolution) proposal. Everyone knew it never stood a chance of passing the Senate. And now the House Republican CR has failed to even pass the House by an unexpectedly large and decisive margin,” Schumer said.
He highlighted the failure of the House Republican CR and urged McCarthy to abandon efforts to please MAGA extremists, calling for bipartisan cooperation to keep the government open.
“The speaker has spent weeks catering to the hard right and now he finds himself in the exact same position he’s been in since the beginning. No plan forward, no closer to passing something that avoids a shutdown. The speaker needs to abandon his doomed mission of trying to please MAGA extremist and instead he needs to work across the aisle to keep the government open.”