Business & EconomySpeaker McCarthy initiates spending bill showdown

Speaker McCarthy initiates spending bill showdown

As the clock ticks down to a potential partial government shutdown just two weeks away, House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy is gearing up for a political showdown, declaring that he is ready to take the defense spending bill to a vote this week, come what may.

McCarthy showdown

The party is deeply divided, torn between conservative demands to slash spending down to the 2022 level of $1.47 trillion – a whopping $120 billion less than the figure McCarthy had agreed upon with President Biden back in May.

Members of the hardline House Freedom Caucus and the more moderate Main Street Caucus announced a fragile agreement on a short-term stopgap bill aimed at keeping the government’s lights on until October 31.

However, this compromise comes at a price, with a proposed spending cut exceeding 8% for most agencies, excluding only the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Additionally, the bill includes conservative provisions on immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border while omitting to fund for Ukraine, a request made by President Biden.

Amidst these challenges, McCarthy is now facing calls from hardline conservatives and other critics demanding his removal, accusing him of failing to fulfill the promises he made when he assumed the role of Speaker in January.

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In a signal of his intent to stand firm against hardliners, McCarthy announced on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures that he would bring the stalled defense bill to the floor this week, promising, “We’ll bring it to the floor, win or lose, and show the American public who’s for the Department of Defense, who’s for our military.”

In the midst of this political turmoil, Democratic former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that a government shutdown would harm the most vulnerable members of society who rely on government assistance. She emphasized the importance of avoiding such a scenario, stating, “We’re talking about diminishing even something as simple and fundamental as feeding the children. We have to try to avoid it.”

As the nation holds its breath, all eyes are on the Capitol, where the fate of government funding and the defense spending bill hangs in the balance, with the potential for seismic shifts in American politics on the horizon.

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