Funding Pact: Schumer Accuses McCarthy of Backtracking

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., further sought to drive House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in a corner Thursday, accusing the Republican leader of reneging on a handshake agreement made months ago on funding levels and kowtowing to a small band of “extremists” in his party.

Schumer made the remarks on the Senate floor Thursday morning, an address in which he also enumerated the steps senators are taking to avert a government shutdown. The deadline is Saturday before midnight.

“Remember, bipartisan majorities agreed to funding levels back in June,” Schumer said. “The leaders of the House, the Senate, the White House, we all shook hands on this deal. But now the Speaker, and only the Speaker, is going back on his word.

“By focusing on the views of a radical few, instead of the many, Speaker McCarthy has made a shutdown far more likely.”

That agreement on non-defense and defense discretionary spending at $1.59 trillion, while McCarthy now, at the demands of the conservative Freedom Caucus, is pursuing a $1.49 trillion topline in the stopgap bill in the House.

“Despite the fact that here in the Senate we’re pursuing bipartisanship, the Speaker has chosen to elevate the whims and desires of a handful of hard-right extremists and has nothing to show for it,” Schumer said.

McCarthy is operating with a figurative gun to his head; any member of the House can make a motion to vacate, which Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., has threatened repeatedly.

Schumer pledged a vote for Saturday, if not sooner, on the upper chamber’s bipartisan bill to fund the government through Nov. 17 via a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill. That bill, however, contains $6 billion in supplemental funding for Ukraine, and McCarthy has reportedly vowed not to bring it to the House floor for a vote even if it makes it out of the Senate.

House Republicans overwhelmingly rejected two amendments Wednesday night to strip or block $300 million in Ukraine funding from the defense spending bill, but the Rules Committee afterward removed the funding for Ukraine, anyway.

“Speaker McCarthy is letting a small band of very extreme members override the views of everyone else,” Schumer said. “If we’re forced to abandon Ukraine by a handful of extreme people who seem to have no sense of the reality of the world, we will pay a price for years to come.”

Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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