Pro-Trump Republicans furious as their own party scotches shutdown threat at 11th hour

‘They just cut a sweet enough deal, or enough people would abdicate their duty,’ one Republican tells The Independent

Eric Garcia
Saturday 30 September 2023 23:37 BST
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House votes to fund government for further 45 days

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Conservative pro-Trump Republicans raged after the House of Representatives passed a stop-gap spending bill to keep the government open for 45 days, saying it would prevent spending cuts that they had hoped to pass.

The House voted 335 to 91 for a stopgap spending bill called a continuing resolution (CR) as it continues to pass the 12 spending bills before the end of the year.

House conservatives have long opposed passing continuing resolutions and hoped to use the appropriations process to pass right-wing policies despite the fact they had little chance of the Democratic-controlled Senate passing them or President Joe Biden signing them.

The continuing resolution did not include any riders but simply extended spending to the same levels they were last year, although it did not include spending for Ukraine.

“We lost our leverage,” Rep Ralph Norman (R-SC), a member of the House Freedom Caucus, told The Independent. “People up here that never would surrender anything, I mean anything, they just were not going to have a shutdown. So that’s the way it worked.”

Conversely, Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), told reporters that she would vote no but said she did not feel conservatives were undermined.

“No, I’ve been open and transparent the entire time,” she said.

Rep Tim Burchett (R-TN), one of the most fiscally conservative Republicans, told The Independent that he knew how the final vote would happen.

“They just cut a sweet enough deal, or enough people would abdicate their duty,” he said and added that the House would never pass proper spending bills. “And we'll be back 45 days we'll be back here, ‘we're gonna work on a CR, we're going to work on this.’”

Rep Matt Gaetz (R-FL), one of the most persistent critics of Republican leadership, had threatened earlier this month that if House Speaker Kevin McCarthy passed a “clean” continuing resolution that he would file a motion to vacate, which would trigger a no-confidence vote to depose Mr McCarthy.

But Mr Burchett said he was not sure that the speaker would be deposed.

“You gotta find somebody to get enough votes,” he said. “That’s part of the problem.”

But even some non-Trump Republicans expressed anger at the passage of the bill. Rep Nancy Mace (R-SC), a frequent target of former president Donald Trump, voted against the legislation.

Ms Mace told The Independent that Congress should pass 12 separate spending bills as the law mandates. Earlier in the week, the House had voted to pass three out of four major spending bills that they had passed a rule to allow for debate.

“A CR is what we always do to bulls*** the American people,” she said. “We don’t have a budget.”

She also faulted Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for not taking up the spending bills that Republicans had passed despite the fact they contained many policies Democrats would consider poison pills.

“Quite frankly, Schumer full of s***,” she said. “Schumer has per cent of the government funding spending bills on his desk right now that he could approve, but he refuses to so if there's a shutdown, blame Schumer.”

For their part, House Democrats praised the passage of the continuing resolution, with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries saying that extremist Republicans lost.

“The American people have won,” he told reporters. “The extreme Maga Republicans have lost. It was a victory for the American people and a complete and total surrender by right-wing extremists who throughout the year have tried to hijack the Congress.”

The bill was largely expected to pass the Senate on Saturday evening and head to Mr Biden’s desk before midnight.

Ms Mace was seen walking onto the House floor with Mr Gaetz. But when asked whether he would file a motion to vacate, Mr Gaetz didn’t answer.

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