As the U.S. once again hurtles toward a possible government shutdown, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is turning to Democrats to try and push a 45-day funding bill through the House.
The proposal would require support from two-thirds of lawmakers, a rare vote of unity in the typically dysfunctional and splintered House chamber. It isn’t clear whether there would be sufficient bipartisan support for it to pass.
McCarthy, who has been battling hard-liners within his own party, said he would hold a vote on the matter Saturday, with just hours to go before a shutdown was set to begin.
Republicans met behind closed doors early in the morning to discuss a new approach, which would not include aid to Ukraine.
“We’re going to do our job,” McCarthy said after the morning meeting. “We’re going to be adults in the room. And we’re going to keep government open.”
Originally, a vote was expected to take place at about 11:45 a.m., though some Democrats were not comfortable immediately voting on the bill without first reviewing it in depth.
“It was just dropped upon us at the 11th hour, and our members are of the view that nothing that Republicans have said this year is trustworthy. Nothing,” Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said.
House Minority Whip Katherine M. Clark said Democrats want at least 90 minutes to review the bill, saying they will not support it until they can review all 71 pages. “We have serious trust issues,” Clark said in her floor speech.
The resolution was said to span 45 days and would also include aid to help states recover from natural disasters—though it would not include funding for Ukraine in its war against Russia. Assuming the bill passes, and if historical precedent is any indication, threats of a government shutdown are likely to crop up again in the near future.
McCarthy worked to cast himself as a unifier on Saturday, declaring that even if the short-term proposal costs him his job by angering his rivals—like embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz—he will seek to push it through.
“If I have to risk my job for standing up for American public, I will do that,” he said.
President Biden assailed Republicans in a tweet on Saturday morning, writing, “There are those in Congress right now who are sowing so much division, they’re willing to shut down the government tonight. It’s unacceptable.”
Post source: TDB