House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Saturday he still lacks support from a handful of GOP hardliners to put a Republican stopgap measure on the floor next week, making a government shutdown likely with just one week until the deadline.
“I’ve been trying to put (a continuing resolution) on for quite some time,” McCarthy said. “I appreciate all the members who’ve worked so hard on that. There are still a few members that won’t vote for funding the government while we finish all the 12 bills. I don’t understand.”
As the September 30 deadline approaches, there is still no plan to avert a shutdown. McCarthy, of California, had been hoping that momentum on a handful of appropriations bills – set to hit the floor next week – would swing enough holdouts to support the GOP continuing resolution.
When pressed on whether Americans should expect a government shutdown, McCarthy insisted there is still time.
“No, I mean, listen, that’s on the 1st. We still have a number of days,” he told reporters at the Capitol.
During a call with the Republican conference Saturday afternoon, the speaker pushed members to rally around a short-term spending bill that includes funds for border security. That would give House Republicans a position from which to begin negotiations with the Senate.
But that path has proved difficult as a number of hardliners are opposed to any short-term spending solution. Following the call, some Republicans blasted the hardliners for thwarting the party’s strategy.
“There have been aggressive efforts by the members standing here as well as scores of other Republican members of Congress to try to get these bills to the floor for a vote as soon as possible. And those efforts have been thwarted despite much effort by the entire leadership team, the speaker of the House and majority leader, the whip and others,” Louisiana GOP Rep. Garret Graves said.
McCarthy said earlier Saturday he is betting the pressure from the calendar softens the opposition, a potentially risky strategy when every vote counts and he faces several absences.
“I think now some members feeling the pressure of the time line coming up,” McCarthy said.
“I think when it gets to crunch time, people … that have been holding off all this time, blaming everybody else, will finally hopefully move off because shutting down and having border agents not be paid, your Coast Guard not get paid; I don’t see how that’s a victory,” he said.