This would lead McCarthy & Co. to blame these holdouts for undermining the party’s negotiating hand with Democrats, ultimately leading to the Senate blocking the House with a stopgap to avoid shutdown without any of them Republican concessions.
“I want votes on this,” McCarthy told members during a private leadership meeting last night, according to a person in attendance who spoke on condition of anonymity. Others in the room agreed that any resistance should be recorded.
This is a more aggressive posture than the one previously adopted by the speaker.
McCarthy’s default approach to his right-wing critics has been appeasement, giving them pretty much everything they want and more. But lately, he’s been lashing out at his detractors.
It began last week when he challenged conservatives to try to oust him from the speakership during a private, curse-laden meeting on the House floor. This continued throughout the weekend on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” where he pledged to hold a vote on a stalled Pentagon funding bill and to ” show the American public who is for the Department of Defense, who is for funding our military, who is for giving them a pay raise and eliminating wokism.
He also engages on personal terms with some of his persistent critics, such as mocking the constant threats posted online by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida). “Oh my God, someone tweeted about me?” McCarthy sneered to reporters yesterday before criticizing another antagonist, Rep. Victoria Spartaz (R-Ind.).
After Spartz I called him a “weak speaker” who had to fight harder, McCarthy took a look at Spartaz for deciding to retire: “If Victoria wants to fight harder, I would like her to run again and not resign. »
These measures could very well blow up in his face, triggering a confrontation that could end his political career. On the other hand, the rest of the caucus has been waiting for months for McCarthy to tell conservatives – in polite terms – to pound sand.
They will cheer him on this morning at a closed-door meeting of the GOP conference, where McCarthy is expected to argue that Republicans must unite on spending, lest they be crushed by the Senate.
” who like to beat their chest and say “it’s not pure enough”.
McCarthy received an encouraging sign from the House Rules Committee Monday night after the panel’s nine Republicans united to send the GOP’s tentative proposal to the floor.
But it would only take five holdouts to stop the plan in its tracks, and there are more than enough members who have publicly criticized the bill to do just that.
Republican centrists, meanwhile, are talking about Plan B. A plan developed by the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus for a “clean” CR that would also include funding for disaster relief was presented at the leaders’ meeting yesterday .
When Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.) told colleagues that his centrist Republican colleagues could work with Democrats to move a CR if the GOP plans failed, the person present said that no one at the meeting pushed back.
There has already been discussion among moderates about whether to dust off a release petition filed by Democrats during the debt ceiling standoff earlier this year and reassign it to a CR, or to engage in other unorthodox legislative maneuvers to get an up or down vote.
“This is one of the few ways McCarthy can survive this situation,” a senior Republican Party official told us. “Someone forces this, and they can say, ‘Look, I don’t want this, but these guys are going to do it anyway.'”
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