House Speaker Kevin McCarthy lost again Friday afternoon when he put a stopgap funding bill on the floor that guarantees a government shutdown. No Democrat voted for the bill and it lost 198-232.
Even if it had passed in the House it would have been dead on arrival in the Senate. The White House has already said President Joe Biden would veto it. The bill is unacceptable because of the draconian cuts McCarthy agreed to in order to appease the hard-liners, some of whom didn’t vote for the damned thing anyway.
Those are cuts that even moderate Republicans shouldn’t be able to swallow. On top of that, it’s unacceptable to the Senate and White House because it has elements of the racist immigration bill the House passed in May, including the finishing of Donald Trump’s border wall, cutting off asylum to refugees at the border, and other policy changes the White House rejected months ago.
The Senate took another step on its own stopgap bill Thursday, but there’s still work to be done on it, including on border security. A handful of Republicans in the Senate are trying to support McCarthy on his immigration demands, but they are unlikely to get actual policy changes into the bill against Democratic opposition. Working out those demands and the amendment votes they require will delay the Senate’s passage of the bill, possibly until Sunday when the shutdown will have begun.
The shutdown is happening. McCarthy has guaranteed it. He agreed to the demands of the hard-liners and put devastating budget cuts and intolerable immigration provisions in this bill. He put that bill on the floor knowing that a core group of those same hard-liners wouldn’t vote for it anyway.
That was the extent of his plan: capitulating to the hard-liners and then letting them beat him up again, forcing the government to shut down. Asked after the vote whether he had a Plan B, McCarthy replied, “Nothing right now.”
Sign and send the petition: Pass a clean funding bill. No GOP hostage taking.