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House Republican leaders on Tuesday became frustrated after they were unable to advance a critical defense spending bill, leading Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to delay a vote on a short-term funding measure as well.
The setback to leadership occurred when McCarthy postponed a procedural vote on a 30-day continuing resolution which was intended to prevent a government shutdown by month’s end and keep negotiations going, given that only one out of a dozen appropriations bills has been passed by the chamber thus far.
In a vote of 214-212, Democrats were joined by five Republicans in opposing the advancement of the 2024 defense resolution for consideration. The five GOP lawmakers were Reps. Ken Buck (R-CO), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Ralph Norman (R-SC), and Matt Rosendale (R-MT).
“I took down the rule — as I vowed I would — because the Conference continues not to have moved twelve appropriations bills at the spending level agreed to in January. I assume leadership believes me now,” Bishop said in a statement via Punchbowl News.
Several other GOP members voiced their frustration over the opposition to advancing the defense appropriations bill, which encompasses a wide range of provisions, including pay raises, border security measures, and a restriction on funds for transgender procedures.
“They’re confused and they just handed a win to the Chinese Communist Party as a result of this vote,” Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.) said.
The Daily Wire added:
The chaos in the House reached a crescendo less than two weeks before the deadline to pass spending legislation to fund various federal agencies in the next fiscal year. Without a deal, a government shutdown could happen at the end of the month.
More than a dozen hardliners in the GOP conference have made demands on spending and transparency while expressing opposition to the 30-day continuing resolution that was set for a procedural vote on Tuesday until McCarthy pulled it.
“For months, I have made it clear that in order for me to support the appropriations bills, we need to see the total value for all 12 bills. Leadership has yet to provide us with that number, which is why I voted against the rule this afternoon! Why are they keeping it a secret?” Rosendale said in an X post.
McCarthy has become increasingly frustrated by some members in the GOP caucus who have been pressing him for major changes from the status quo.
In fact, McCarthy reportedly dropped the “F” bomb during a closed-door meeting with his Republican caucus last week amid threats by conservatives to file a motion to remove him over the slow pace of impeachment against President Joe Biden.
During the meeting, McCarthy addressed threats by some House conservatives, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), to ‘vacate the chair’ — force a vote to remove him from his Speakership, The Hill reported.
“If you want to file a motion to vacate, then file the f‑‑‑ing motion,” McCarthy said, according to an account relayed by Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.).
The Hill added:
McCarthy’s comments follow Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) earlier this week explicitly threatening to call a motion to vacate if McCarthy does not follow through with a number of spending priorities and votes on bills that his detractors were promised in January.
And it also comes after hard-line conservatives, who have been battling with GOP leadership for months over topline numbers in spending bills, forced GOP leaders to punt consideration of a Department of Defense (DOD) appropriations bill Wednesday.
“I showed frustration in here because I am frustrated,” McCarthy told reporters following the meeting. “Frustrated with some people in the conference.”
“We had the [Defense Dept.] appropriations bill yesterday, couldn’t put it on the floor,” McCarthy continued. “I don’t have one complaint by any member of what’s wrong with this bill.”