A government shutdown is now almost certain after the House rejected a plan on Friday that would have kept the government operating until the deadline of September 30.
Although Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) added major border security provisions to persuade skepticing conservatives, his continuing resolution (CR) failed 198-232. Twenty-one Republicans opposed the measure which would have extended government funding for 30 days.
McCarthy will meet with his fellow Republicans on Friday in the afternoon to talk about the next steps. Votes are now expected on Saturday instead of the previously scheduled Tuesday, according to Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN).
While all is going on, the Senate is still debating how much money should be allocated for border security and aid to Ukraine. Such discussions are mostly taking place between a few Republicans and independent Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), who caucuses with Democrats.
The House CR's budget cuts are not included in the Senate CR, which is anticipated to span 47 days.
Many conservatives oppose the addition of more border security expenditures without corresponding policy reforms because they think that doing so will just intensify the crisis by increasing the processing of the influx of migrants.
Because of McCarthy's vulnerable position within his party, Senate negotiators started working seriously this week. Hardliners, such as those who reject CRs on moral grounds, are just one of several challenges the Speaker faces.
The failure of today's package, which increased border security, reduced spending, and withdrew financing for the Ukraine war, raises questions about whether McCarthy can put together the ideal concoction of compromises to win approval with only Republican support.
Without bringing new topics that could be deadly for his speakership, McCarthy cannot introduce a CR softening stances on key matters in an effort to win over Democrats.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a McCarthy opponent, has consistently stated that if McCarthy introduces a CR in any form, he will introduce a motion to remove him from the speakership. Democrats have made it clear that they won't work with the anticipated majority of the Republican conference to keep McCarthy as speaker without making big compromises.
According to reports, Gaetz is pleading with Democrats for assistance in removing McCarthy.
After the House's unsuccessful vote, the Senate regains control, albeit it's still not clear how to proceed. The Senate cannot vote on final passage of its CR before Sunday, the first day of a shutdown, without unanimous agreement to quicken the process.
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