Speaker McCarthy Faces Brewing Perfect Storm

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is facing an end-of-the-month deadline to avoid a government shutdown as some Republicans say his job won’t be safe if their wishes on the budget and other issues aren’t met.

A possible shutdown is part of a tangled puzzle for McCarthy, a California Republican who also faces the issues of continuing aid for Ukraine and a potential impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, NBC News reported.

“There’s a perfect storm brewing in the House shortly, in September,” Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., told MSNBC. “On the one hand, we’ve got to pass a [short-term funding bill]. And we also have the impeachment issue. And we also have members of the House, led by my good friend, Chip Roy, who are concerned about policy issues.

“So you take those three things put together, and Kevin McCarthy, the speaker, has made promises on each of those issues to different groups. And now it is all coming due at the same time.”

Some Republicans are angry about the two-year budget reached between McCarthy and  President Joe Biden this year and are calling for more spending cuts while adding policy provisions on immigration and pushing back on Biden’s agenda. 

Further, they are rejecting a short-term funding bill that would extend the budget deadline and insist that McCarthy should listen to them. 

Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said conservatives feel betrayed by the earlier budget bill and want to undo that through spending bills. 

“What he surrendered — that’s a problem,” Norman said.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., has been hinting at replacing McCarthy, and when Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., accused him of making empty threats, Gaetz responded, “Bookmark this tweet.”

“Hi, Eric. If I make a motion to remove Kevin, how [many] Democrat votes can I count on? Asking for a friend,” Gaetz said in response to a post from Swalwell. 

“Are all Democrats so willing, [Swalwell]?” Gaetz also said. “Will my NorCal twitter troll have the courage and efficacy to become my dem whip?? If I’ll work with [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] to ban congressional stock trading I’ll absolutely work with [Swalwell] to rid the House of ineffective leadership. How many votes can you deliver against a Motion to Table a Motion to Vacate, Eric? Asking for (many) friends!”

Under rules passed earlier this year, it will take only a single House member to call for a motion to vacate the speaker’s seat, but it’s not clear if any Democrats would join with Gaetz in his efforts. Further, with the slim GOP majority in the House, it’s not clear that there would be enough votes to remove McCarthy. 

McCarthy told reporters he’s “not at all” worried that he could lose his gavel. Asked about Gaetz, McCarthy said, “Matt is Matt.” 

McCarthy also insisted that the House is “not spending the type of money the Senate wants to spend,” amid Senate Republicans warning that a partisan House spending bill won’t pass in the Democrat-controlled chamber. 

The shutdown is also looming while Republicans are divided about continuing aid to Ukraine. In the Senate, one side, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said it’s important that the U.S. helps Ukraine stop Russia. 

“The United States isn’t arming Ukraine out of a sense of charity,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Monday. “Republicans should be pressing President Biden to show more of it instead of dreaming about American retreat.”

Other Republicans, backed by former President Donald Trump, are questioning the Ukraine aid. 

“Why are we talking about a Ukraine supplemental when we can’t even figure out how to fund our own operation of government?” Roy said. “I want to know how every dollar of that $113 billion was spent. Come present that to me as a member of Congress, then talk to me about what you’re doing in Ukraine.”


Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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