- Bearing Drift - https://bearingdrift.com -

The Not-So-Hidden Reason For a Shutdown

Facing a government shutdown because he can’t seem to get his caucus to agree on anything, Speaker Kevin McCarthy is desperate to shift the blame somewhere else. So he tried smearing President Biden (The Hill [1]).

McCarthy has said he would like to meet with President Biden  [2]on attaching border policy measures to a short-term funding extension. But with just three days until a government shutdown, the Speaker has not yet worked in earnest with Democrats on a deal to keep the government open.

“Negotiating with Democrats and negotiating with even some Senate Republicans can be problematic for the Speaker,” said Rep. Steve Womack  [3](R-Ark.), a House appropriator.

So much for message discipline, eh Kevin?

Making matters worse, even if Biden were to pretend that the GOP’s dystopian fantasy about “the border” was real, McCarthy still couldn’t deliver the votes needed to pass a funding bill.

a handful of Republicans say they will not support McCarthy’s bid for a stopgap with border measures while the House works through appropriations bills — enough to likely block one in the slim House majority.

That crew includes Reps. Eli Crane (Ariz.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Andy Ogles  [4](Tenn.), Tim Burchett (Tenn.), Dan Bishop (N.C.) and Rosendale.

Those six holdouts (the last one being Matt Rosendale of Montana) were also profiled in the WaPo‘s look at “The small group of House Republicans who might force a government shutdown.”

Roughly 10 Republicans have dug in on their opposition to any short-term funding deal, blocking the House majority from delivering a bill chock full of their legislative priorities to the Democratic-led Senate in hopes of negotiating a more conservative solution to avoid a government shutdown.

The other four were Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia), Cory Mills (Florida), Wesley Hunt (Tennessee), and Andy Biggs (Arizona).

For the most part, these fire-eaters talk a good game about the sanctity of the appropriations process and the problems with funding via endless continuing resolutions. A few have also echoed McCarthy’s blathering about “the border.” However, Greene let slip their red line.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who has remained a loyal McCarthy ally until recent spending disputes, has been largely alone in saying her support is solely contingent on excluding funding for Ukraine from any stopgap bill. While House Republicans have offered a short-term bill with some broad funding cuts, some money for Ukraine is still included because a continuing resolution, by definition, is a continuation of existing funding.

As it happens, the House is debating the defense appropriations bill this week. This gave us the chance to see how the other nine viewed Ukraine’s fight for independence. It should not surprise that all nine of them oppose supporting Ukraine’s fight. Two of them (Biggs [5] and Gaetz [6]) sponsored amendments wiping out all Ukraine funding. The other seven (and Greene) all voted [7] for them [8].

On one level, this is just part of the standard [9] pro-Kremlin [10] tilt in the Republican [11] Party [12] these days. Unfortunately for the rest of us,  McCarthy’s allergic reaction to working with House Democrats is giving these authoritarian-friendly pols the power to shut the government down – and thus keep us from helping Ukraine continue the fight – until they get what they want …

… and what they want is for Ukraine to wither and die under Russian occupation.