McCarthy gives in to right flank on spending cuts, but they still deliver a defeat as shutdown looms

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy emerged with a spending cut plan to prevent a federal government shutdown by appeasing his hard-right flank, only to see it quickly collapse Thursday in a crushing defeat

Lisa Mascaro,Stephen Groves
Thursday 21 September 2023 17:11 BST

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy emerged with a spending cut plan to prevent a federal government shutdown by appeasing his hard-right flank, only to see it quickly collapse Thursday in a crushing defeat.

His latest attempt to move ahead with a traditionally popular defense funding bill was shattered by a core group of Republican colleagues who refused to vote for the endangered speaker's plans.

A test vote to advance the bill failed, 212-216, as a handful of Republicans joined with Democrats to stop it.

Once again, the House then came to a sudden standstill and declared itself in recess.

A federal shutdown is looming Sept. 30, the end of the current budget year, if Congress cannot pass the bills needed to fund the government.

McCarthy's strategy of repeatedly giving in to the hard-right conservatives is seemingly only emboldening them as a handful of GOP lawmakers, urged on by Donald Trump, the party's early front-runner for the 2024 presidential nomination, run roughshod over their own House majority.

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