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As government shutdown looms, no off-ramp in sight

Even if McCarthy is able to muster the Republican votes to pass a spending bill, the bill will almost certainly fail when it reaches the Senate, putting him back where he started.

Washington—Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy’s A last-ditch plan to preserve the Confederacy The government is temporarily open crash on friday Far-right die-hards With the plan rejected, closure is all but certain.

Republicans on McCarthy’s right have refused to support the bill, which slashes spending by nearly 30% for many agencies and enacts tough border security rules, calling it insufficient.

The White House and Democrats rejected the Republican approach as too extreme.

The bill failed to pass a day before a Saturday deadline to fund the government, leaving few options for a government shutdown that would furlough federal workers, keep the military working without pay and disrupt the plans of millions of Americans. and service.

The outcome puts McCarthy’s position as speaker in serious jeopardy, leaving him with little political clout to lead the House at a critical moment that thrust the government into crisis.

The day before the vote, the Republican speaker all but dared his colleagues who were holding out to argue against the package. Will almost certainly be closed on Saturday. The House bill would allow operations to continue until Oct. 31.

“Every member must have their position on the record,” McCarthy, a Republican, said at the Capitol.

Asked if he had the votes, McCarthy quipped: “We’ll see.”

As soon as the live debate began, McCarthy’s leading Republican critic, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, announced that he would vote against the package, calling its border security provisions insufficient and urging his colleagues “not to surrender.”

The federal government will go into a shutdown directly after midnight on Saturday, which will put 2 million troops without pay, furlough federal jobs, and disrupt government services and programs that Americans rely on. Congress has been unable to fund these agencies or pass a stopgap bill to keep offices open.

While the Senate on Friday was moving forward on a bipartisan plan with broad support from Republicans and Democrats to keep the government open and bolster Ukraine aid and the U.S. disaster account, the House of Representatives was thrown into political chaos as the far right seized control.

The White House rejected McCarthy’s offer to meet with President Joe Biden after McCarthy abandoned a debt deal they brokered earlier this year that set budget levels.

“Extreme Republicans in the House are now doubling down on their demands to eliminate the programs that millions of hardworking families rely on,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

“The Senate, with bipartisan support, has charted a path to funding the government — House Republicans just need to embrace it,” Jean-Pierre said.

To appeal to his far-right base, McCarthy has reinstated the lower spending limits he requested in January as part of a deal to help him Become Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The plan would not cut spending at the Department of Defense, Veterans, or Homeland Security, but it would cut spending at nearly every other agency by up to 30 percent — a serious dent in the vast array of programs, services, and departments Americans rely on every day. blow.

It also adds tough new border security rules and will, among other measures, begin construction of a wall along the southern border with Mexico. Additionally, the plan would establish a bipartisan debt commission to address the nation’s growing debt burden.

The far-right forces, led by Gaetz, have been threatening to oust McCarthy, and they are about to hold a vote to try to remove McCarthy from the speaker’s office unless he meets the demands of conservatives. However, it is unclear whether any other Republicans will have the support of the House majority to lead the party.

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