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Top House Republican McCarthy vows to survive ouster threat for avoiding shutdown

Published Sep 30, 2023 09:09PM ET Updated Oct 01, 2023 07:45PM ET
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© Reuters. U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to reporters in the U.S. Capitol after the House of Representatives passed a stopgap government funding bill to avert an immediate government shutdown, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. September 30, 2023.
 
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By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Top U.S. House Republican Kevin McCarthy said on Sunday he expected to survive a threat to his speakership after a hardline critic within his party called for his ouster following the passage of a stopgap government funding bill that drew more support from Democrats than Republicans.

Hardline Republican Representative Matt Gaetz told multiple U.S. media outlets he would file a "motion to vacate," a call for a vote to remove McCarthy as speaker of the House of Representatives, which his party controls by a narrow 221-212 margin.

"I'll survive," McCarthy said on CBS. "This is personal with Gaetz."

Former President Donald Trump, who had encouraged Republicans in Congress to work for a government shutdown unless their budget demands were met, on Sunday said. "Republicans got very little" out of the temporary government-funding deal reached this weekend and that they needed to "get tougher."

Asked at a campaign stop in Ottumwa, Iowa, whether he would support a move by Gaetz to strip McCarthy of his speakership, Trump said, "I don't know anything about those efforts but I like both of them very much." Trump added that McCarthy has said some "very great things about me."

Gaetz is one of a group of about two dozen hardliners who forced McCarthy to endure a withering 15 rounds of voting in January before he was elected speaker, during which they squeezed out concessions, including a rule change to allow any one House member to call for a vote to oust the speaker.

It was not clear how much support McCarthy would have in such a vote, or whether any Democrats would back him. McCarthy angered Democrats last month by launching an impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden.

"If at this time next week Kevin McCarthy is still speaker of the House, it will be because Democrats bailed him out," Gaetz said in an interview on ABC. "I am relentless and I will continue to pursue this objective."

McCarthy stunned Washington on Saturday when he backed a bill to fund the government through Nov. 17, averting a partial shutdown but not imposing any of the spending cuts or changes to border security that his hardline colleagues had called for.

The bill, which was approved by the Senate on a broad bipartisan basis and signed into law by Biden, is meant to give lawmakers more time to agree on a deal to fund the government through Sept. 30, 2024.

An ouster of the speaker would complicate that process.

"It is destructive to the country to put forth this motion to vacate," Representative Mike Lawler, a Republican, said on ABC. "By putting this motion to vacate on the floor, you know what Matt Gaetz is going to do? He is going to delay the ability to complete that work over the next 45 days."

Gaetz had been threatening to move against McCarthy for weeks.

Republican Representative Byron Donalds, a member of the hardline House Freedom Caucus who had been nominated to challenge McCarthy for speaker in January, declined to say how he would vote.

"I don't know right now," Donalds said in an interview on Fox. "I gotta really think about that because there's a lot of stuff going on."

'GO AHEAD AND TRY'

McCarthy decided to bring a vote on a measure that could win Democratic support, knowing full well that it could jeopardize his job. One of his advisers told Reuters the speaker believed some hardliners would try to oust him under any circumstances.

"Go ahead and try," McCarthy said in comments directed at his opponents on Saturday. "You know what? If I have to risk my job for standing up for the American public, I will do that."

The bipartisan measure succeeded a day after Republican Representative Andy Biggs, a leading hardliner, and 20 others blocked a Republican stopgap bill that contained sharp spending cuts and immigration and border restrictions, all of which hardliners favor.

The bill's failure ended Republican hopes of moving a conservative measure and opened the door to the bipartisan measure that was backed by 209 House Democrats and 126 Republicans. Ninety Republicans opposed the stopgap.

Hardliners complained that the measure, known as a continuing resolution, or CR, left in place policies favored by Democrats, including Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

DEMOCRATIC RESPONSE UNCLEAR

It was not clear what action Democrats might take if a Republican moved to vacate the chair and the House voted on the measure.

Some Democrats have suggested they could support McCarthy if an ouster attempt occurred at a turbulent time. Others have suggested they could back a moderate Republican willing to share the gavel with them and allow power sharing within House committees. Others have shown no interest in helping any speaker candidate aside from House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries.

U.S. Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, a leading progressive Democrat, said her party was unlikely to help McCarthy keep his job without receiving concessions from Republicans.

"I don't think we give up votes for free," Ocasio-Cortez told CNN's State of the Union.

Asked if she would vote on a measure to oust McCarthy, Ocasio-Cortez said: "Would I cast that vote? Absolutely. Absolutely. I think Kevin McCarthy is a very weak Speaker. He clearly has lost control of his caucus."

Top House Republican McCarthy vows to survive ouster threat for avoiding shutdown
 

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Comments (19)
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Oct 03, 2023 2:35AM ET
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you know trumpster you really should start checking the meaning of words you use in your post you sound so ignorant when you try calling a progressive presidential administration fascist .a liberal or a progressive by definition can't be fascist . Donald Trump on the other hand has made it very clear that he admires and even supports fascist dictatorships and admires their leaders. he constantly uses the methods authoritarians use to manipulate the uneducated ignorant and mostly bigoted cult members that blindly follow him. he has proven over and over again to be a liar a cheat and sexual molester.he is a provider of misinformation which he uses to maintain his dominance over his followers, which from the looks of it, you are one of them.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Oct 02, 2023 5:39AM ET
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MAGA republican nutjobs keep painting themselves into a corner by continuing to threaten govt shutdown and then having to duck their tails between their legs and backdown, you would have thought The Donald learned his lesson the last time he insisted on a govt shutdown......
XAVIER ADOLF NORONHA
XAVIER ADOLF NORONHA Oct 01, 2023 9:43PM ET
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Jargons make several double omelet with burji paav with this funding and keep Eggs 🥚 in stock.
Richard Da
Richard Da Oct 01, 2023 8:06PM ET
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Make it pistols at dawn, bout time somebody shot Gaetz……
Angus Malarkey
Angus Malarkey Oct 01, 2023 8:06PM ET
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Rep. Gaetz is the only republican with guts.Mccarthy is a pathetic RINO.
Wayne Elliott
Wayne Elliott Oct 01, 2023 8:06PM ET
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we need more like Gaetz.... a true Republican Conservative. Most are RINO'S.
Erikke Evans
Erikke Oct 01, 2023 8:06PM ET
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Your comment to have anyone shot is grossly irresponsible to say the least.
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Oct 01, 2023 8:06PM ET
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as usual Angus supports the ego maniac Gaetz, a power mad house members,who thinks he can get away with his hypocrisy like he got away with his little affairs wit underaged teenage girls. Gaetz is no conservative, he's a political Trump operative who is following the maga cult's plan to create chaos in America's government.
Phil Ht
Phil Ht Oct 01, 2023 7:48PM ET
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Corrupt beyond repair.
gab nea
gab nea Oct 01, 2023 4:21PM ET
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Kevin is getting sick and tired of his caucus!! lmfao!
Richard Da
Richard Da Oct 01, 2023 4:21PM ET
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Lol it’s his Frankenstein monster. He built it now he doesnt like how its turning out eh?
Otis Grant
Otis Grant Oct 01, 2023 4:04PM ET
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Good for him, the rotten cult trying to oust him nèeds to be defeated
Brian Dodge
Brian Dodge Oct 01, 2023 4:04PM ET
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keep spending your asses off, keep the invasion going.
Jason Patcher
Jason Patcher Oct 01, 2023 3:27PM ET
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markets should recover some; they only kicked-the-can 5 weeks but we moving with the curve.
Jason Patcher
Jason Patcher Oct 01, 2023 3:23PM ET
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honestly I'm shocked. Glad to think some are still humanist. The zombies should want his brains for having integrity.
Tom Saltzman
Tom Saltzman Oct 01, 2023 1:47PM ET
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McCarthy is an establishment left wing "republican" vote him out.
Tom Scheuermann
Tom Scheuermann Oct 01, 2023 1:47PM ET
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buhahhaha, you have no idea what you're talking about. who would you prefer to see in there? with baited breath lol
Paul Kerber
Paul Kerber Oct 01, 2023 1:47PM ET
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Only losers would shut down their own government. Are you?
Oct 01, 2023 1:47PM ET
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Paul Kerber ok then, lets just spend our kids and grandkids money
Oct 01, 2023 1:47PM ET
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Let’s protect Ukraines border, but not our own
Lou Liguori
Lou Liguori Oct 01, 2023 1:47PM ET
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that's already spent, we're on our great great grand children's money
 
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