WASHINGTON, Sept 14 (Reuters) – U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was visibly frustrated, using expletives to complain about his fractious Republican colleagues over the stalemate on federal spending. He warned that “no one wins” if the government is forced into paralysis.
At a closed party meeting on Thursday, McCarthy took direct aim at hardline critics who had threatened to file a “vacancy petition” to challenge his leadership unless he resigned for the fiscal year that begins Jan. 1 Spending cuts $120 billion more compared to the deal McCarthy and Democratic President Joe Biden reached in May.
“What Kevin just said (…): ‘If anyone wants to submit a vacancy request, submit the damn vacancy request’ and that’s all. And stop delaying everyone’s work,” Rep. Brian Mast told reporters.
McCarthy declined to comment on his statements.
The California Republican, facing opposition from his most conservative members, said the House would meet starting Monday until lawmakers agree on legislation to keep federal agencies afloat after current funding expires on Sept. 30.
“When we come back, we won’t disappear. We will make it. No one benefits from a government shutdown. No one benefits from a government shutdown. I’ve been through this,” McCarthy told reporters.
McCarthy also said he would not wait “until the last minute” to introduce a short-term stopgap measure called a “continuing resolution” that would give lawmakers more time to negotiate large-scale lending legislation.
The House speaker spoke a day after Republican leaders were forced to withdraw an $886 billion defense spending bill to the $1 level because of demands from hardline conservatives who refuse to support spending .47 trillion US dollars in 2022.