Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) dared his hardline conservative Republican critics to try to remove him from the Speakership over his move to bring a “clean” continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government to the House floor on Saturday.
“If someone wants to remove because I want to be the adult in the room, go ahead and try,” McCarthy told reporters Saturday morning ahead of a midnight shutdown deadline.
“But I think this country is too important. And I will stand with our military. I’ll stand with our border agents. I’ll stand with those that have to get their medicine from government as well. I think that’s too important,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy faces threats to his Speakership from hardline conservatives like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) who have warned McCarthy to not put a clean CR on the floor.
On a press call earlier this month, Gaetz explicitly warned against McCarthy bringing up a “clean” continuing resolution to fund the government.
“If Kevin McCarthy puts a continuing resolution on the floor, it’s going to be shot, chaser; continuing resolution, motion to vacate,” Gaetz said.
House Republicans are bringing up a “clean” 45-day stopgap to fund the government on Saturday. The measure includes funds for disaster relief, but does not include additional aid to Ukraine as the White House has requested.
It competes with a continuing resolution that the Senate is scheduled to advance on Saturday that includes additional aid to Ukraine.
The move comes as the fractious House GOP conference has exhausted its options to unify around any kind of stopgap measure that could put pressure on the Senate and White House to agree to policy concessions.
On Friday, the GOP leaders put a partisan stopgap measure on the floor that included steep spending cuts for the duration and border policy changes. But the measure failed due to opposition from 21 hardline House Republicans — including Gaetz — who demanded that the Hose focus on passing regular full-year appropriations bills.