On Saturday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy issued scathing criticism of Republicans who opposed his efforts to avoid a government shutdown, saying he doesn’t “want to be part of that team.”
Earlier in the day, the House of Representatives voted 335-91 to pass a short-term spending bill on Saturday, funding the government for 45 days and giving the House more time to find a solution for a long-term bill. Ninety Republicans voted against the bill along with one Democrat.
The bill provides disaster relief for Americans in Florida, Hawaii and anywhere else impacted by disasters but no aid for Ukraine, much to the dismay of several Democrats. However, McCarthy and other Republicans had hoped to have more conservative measures included in the measure.
“Today wasn’t the choice we wanted to have,” McCarthy said during his remarks after the vote. “We tried to pass the most conservative stopgap measure possible. We put it on the floor, but unfortunately, we didn’t have 218 Republicans who would vote for that, to help us secure the border then.”
McCarthy’s comments come after a group of conservative holdouts refused to pass a bill on Friday which would have funded the government until Oct. 31, cut public spending by 8.1285% and included several provisions relating to immigration law enforcement and border security. All Democrats opposed the measure, and it failed 232-198.
McCarthy was asked whether he is concerned about the threats to remove him from his role as speaker, responding that “if somebody wants to make a motion against me, bring it. There has to be an adult in the room.”
The comment comes after remarks made by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who earlier this month threatened to make a motion for McCarthy to vacate the chair. After the vote, several House Freedom Caucus members, who largely made up the holdouts preventing the Friday bill from going through, again questioned McCarthy’s fitness for the speakership.
“Instead of siding with his own party today, Kevin McCarthy sided with 209 Democrats to push through a continuing resolution that maintains the Biden-Pelosi-Schumer spending levels and policies,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) posted on X. “He allowed the DC Uniparty to win again. Should he remain Speaker of the House?”
“McCarthy-Jeffries ‘clean’ CR” passing with more Democrat votes than Republican votes “tells you everything you need to know,” said Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA). “The American people didn’t give us the majority to continue Nancy Pelosi’s bloated spending levels or advance the Left’s radical policies that are destroying our nation,” Clyde added in a follow-up post.
“Every single Democrat in the House, except for one, voted for Kevin McCarthy’s ploy to continue Nancy Pelosi’s budget and Joe Biden’s policies,” Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) said on X. “Are we sure Hakeem Jeffries is not the Speaker?”
Others, however, were more supportive of McCarthy, casting blame on the holdouts for the less-than-ideal stopgap bill.
“The cast of characters that still have personality issues with the speaker who would rather I think in some cases tear the country down than try to move forward and give him a success, I think is sad,” Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC) said after the meeting. “But you know what, you can’t have a few people just tear down the whole country.”
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