The House of Representatives recently voted to pass a rule to commence the debate on four separate spending bills, following the failure of two rules votes last week.
This victory prompted enthusiastic applause from Republicans on the floor.
But Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) stood as the sole Republican who opposed the rule, citing concerns about the included ‘blood money‘ allocated for Ukraine.
The House is now shifting its focus towards discussing amendments for the agriculture and FDA, defense, homeland security, and state appropriations bills.
After the vote, McCarthy held a news conference with reporters and expressed his commitment to presenting a stopgap spending bill on the floor to extend the September 30 deadline for a government shutdown.
“We want to make sure government stays open as we do our work,” he said.
However, McCarthy expressed skepticism about the Senate’s bipartisan continuing resolution (CR) plan, which includes funding for Ukraine and disaster relief but lacks border security provisions. He argued that the Senate’s priorities seemed ‘backwards’ and criticized their approach.
Despite the looming shutdown deadline, the House GOP found some optimism in the rule vote, especially after the Senate introduced a bill that would delay the shutdown deadline by six weeks. The proposed CR, supported by Senate leaders Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell, extends government funding until November 17 and includes significant aid for Ukraine, which has generated backlash among some House conservatives. The bill also allocates funds for disaster relief but does not include border provisions.
The timing of the Senate CR’s passage remains uncertain, as Senator Rand Paul indicated his intention to delay it, citing objections to borrowing money for Ukraine.
“It’s as if no one has noticed that we have no extra money to send Ukraine”
“Our deficit this year will exceed $1.5 trillion”
“Borrowing money from China to send it to Ukraine makes no sense”
🔊Rand Paul … 🚨🚨🚨
$113 billion and counting. Will it ever end? We have a lot… pic.twitter.com/bDWXIItCfH
— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) September 23, 2023
Speaker Kevin McCarthy remained non-committal about giving a Senate-authored CR a vote in the House and continued to advocate for addressing Ukraine aid separately from stopgap spending legislation. He pledged to introduce a stopgap funding bill before Saturday but reiterated his desire for border security provisions.
While the Senate CR could potentially pass both chambers with support from Democrats and some Republicans, McCarthy faces a challenge as he can only afford to lose four Republican votes to pass a party-line CR that includes spending cuts.
McCarthy, who previously reached a debt limit deal with President Biden, is now seeking another agreement to ensure government funding.
The House is scheduled to vote on a rule to advance four out of the 12 appropriations bills, which could set the tone for the week. However, it remains uncertain whether a few stubborn Republicans will permit the rule to pass.
McCarthy suggested that they could collaborate on funding if President Biden addressed his border policies, though such a tradeoff appears challenging.
“Listen, the president, all he has to do … it’s only actions that he has to take. He can do it like that. He changed all the policies on the border. He can change those,” McCarthy said. “We can keep government open and finish out the work that we have done.”