The federal government is expected to soon shut down as Republicans in the House continue struggling to first pass something (meaning imminently necessary funding) and then settle on something that is actually tenable for the bipartisan consensus that’s needed because of the divided government currently in place.
A bipartisan, temporary extension of prior approvals for funding was already prepared and advanced in the Senate, but in its Senate form, House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) won’t even bring it to the floor of the House for a vote — though it’d likely pass. Among the claimed issues raised by McCarthy was the lack of focus on southern border priorities from the House GOP, where members have pushed a bill that would jump-start construction of a southern border wall. McCarthy has also been clamoring for evidently the reestablishment of the remain in Mexico program, under which migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. were forced to wait outside the country.
None of those ambitions have a remotely clear path to success in the Senate, where Democrats still hold the majority — though that’s not stopped House Republicans from hinging their support for almost any government funding on some of these policy wins. The alterations to existing funding included in the Senate framework are more limited. Money is included to support further aid for Ukraine and to further domestic disaster relief. During an interview on MSNBC, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) demanded that McCarthy bring the Senate bill up for a vote.
“But he won’t do it because they’re threatening to ‘vacate the chair,’ which means to topple Kevin McCarthy,” Raskin said. “So, it means more to him to stay in office than to keep the government of the United States going, but if I were Kevin McCarthy — I would tell him, if he’s watching MSNBC right now: Go ahead and do the right thing. Put it on the floor. Let us all vote on it. And if they try to topple your speakership, see who they’ve got against you.” It’s not even remotely clear that efforts by those dissenting Republicans to replace McCarthy as Speaker would end any differently than how the process of selecting Speaker went in January.
.@RepRaskin to Kevin McCarthy: “If he’s watching MSNBC right now: Go ahead and do the right thing. Put it on the floor. Let us all vote on it. And if they try to topple your speakership, see who they’ve got against you.” pic.twitter.com/pYVwhuaP45
— All In with Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) September 29, 2023