US government shutdown: Kevin McCarthy scrambling for last-minute deal

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Hardline members of Kevin McCarthy’s Republican House majority are refusing to again a short-term funding invoice

The US moved nearer to a government shutdown on Thursday, with House Republicans braced to oppose a last-minute proposal forming within the Senate.

Congress faces a deadline of midnight on Saturday to cross a brand new funds, earlier than hundreds of federal workers are positioned on unpaid depart.

The Senate has cast forward with plans for a brief funding settlement – which House Republicans will oppose.

But House chief Kevin McCarthy mentioned time remained for a late settlement.

“I wake up every day optimistic,” Mr McCarthy, 58, mentioned when requested concerning the odds of a deal being reached. “I’d say put your money on me. We will get this done.”

The probability of a shutdown, nonetheless, appeared to extend on Thursday because the Senate and the House continued to pursue their conflicting funding plans.

The Senate will maintain a procedural vote on a short-term funding invoice that has bipartisan help within the chamber. The invoice would keep away from a government shutdown till 17 November, giving Congress extra time to achieve a deal on a longer-term funds.

But for that invoice to turn out to be legislation it must cross within the House, the place no less than 9 hardline members of Mr McCarthy’s slender Republican majority are refusing to help any stopgap measure.

That group has repeatedly threatened to take away Mr McCarthy as House Speaker if he depends on Democratic votes to work round their opposition and cross a funding invoice with out them.

“I think that the Speaker is making a choice between the speakership and American interests,” President Joe Biden mentioned on Wednesday.

“This is not an impossible puzzle to solve,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer mentioned. “Speaker McCarthy needs to stop letting the Maga radicals drive his decisions.”

The House, in the meantime, is anticipated to carry its personal votes on Friday on short-term spending payments which can be thought-about unlikely ever to cross within the Senate.

Mr McCarthy has not dedicated to bringing the Senate’s short-term funding invoice to the House ground, however mentioned a shutdown could possibly be averted if Democrats higher addressed the problem of border safety in that invoice.

“We’re trying to work to see, could we put some border provisions in that current Senate bill that would actually make things a lot better,” he advised reporters on Thursday.

“I talked this morning to some Democratic senators over there that are more aligned with what we want to do. They want to do something about the border.”

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Matt Gaetz has vowed in addition Mr McCarthy as Speaker if he depends on Democratic votes to cross a spending invoice

In current months, Mr McCarthy has seen a rising ideological gulf between the average and proper wings of his caucus.

That right-wing flank solely accounts for a handful of members, however in a chamber that Republicans management by solely 9 seats they maintain an out-sized energy over proceedings.

Fiercely against something that resembles enterprise as standard in Washington, they demand that the get together ship on spending cuts and what they name conservative priorities.

That means Mr McCarthy could must look to the opposing get together to bail him out and help a short-term spending invoice.

Working with Democrats is all however assured to set off a so-called movement to vacate, step one in forcing a vote to oust him as Speaker.

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