Republicans are battling internally in Congress as a government shutdown approaches. Although the leadership has a proposal to avoid it, a group of conservatives refuses to support the legislation. In this context, Newt Gingrich supports Kevin McCarthy and took aim at those who oppose his proposal.
The former speaker of the House of Representatives recently spoke on Fox News, where he claimed that conservatives who oppose the leadership plan are putting both the Republican Party and the country at risk.
"The problem is you got to pass a rule to get it to the floor. Twice now, different Republicans have decided to stop the bill from going to the floor. Why? Because each one has their own particular need, or their own particular fixation. Now, there are one or two, like Congressman Gaetz, who I think is frankly deranged, who you’re never gonna get. He hates Kevin, he’s not going to vote for Speaker McCarthy. He openly says he wants to get rid of him, which is his prerogative. But that means one less vote that Kevin has in order to get things done. The others, I think, are playing a game that could blow up on them" he began.
— John Ratcliffe (@JohnRatcliffe) September 23, 2023
"In the end, either the House Republicans find a way to talk with themselves, get this sorted out, and pass these things, or you’re inevitably going to have some coalition with the Democrats with bigger spending further to the left, more radical policies," he continued.
In turn, Gingrich was not very optimistic about avoiding a government shutdown. The comings and goings of some Republicans complicate the math for McCarthy, who will have to find a way to unite the caucus before October 1.
“I mean, the world’s not going to end, though somebody somewhere is going to find a solution. And I think, too, for example, I think Speaker McCarthy yesterday, thought they had the votes, they walked onto the floor. Three members switched who had voted yes the day before, now voted no. I mean this is the sort of stuff when I was Speaker that would have driven me nuts. Luckily, I had a bigger margin. I think it’s very hard to see right now how this is going to work out; I think it will work out. But it’s a little hard to see how it’s gonna work out", he concluded.
Kevin McCarthy's plan to avoid a government shutdown
The proposal begins with the extension of the deadline to present legislation that would fund the federal government during fiscal year 2024. The new date would be the end of October, which would give Congress an extra month to negotiate an agreement, although it does not ensure that a shutdown will not take place on the first day of November. Everything would be contingent on agreement between Democrats and Republicans.
In addition, it would cut discretionary spending by 8%, understood as funding for federal agencies, although it would protect funds for Defense, emergency relief and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Finally, the Republican bill includes most of the Border Security Act of 2023, one of the significant pieces of legislation by House Republicans. However, the new plan excluded provisions requiring E-Verify. The legislation is still waiting for the Senate to take up.
The plan presented was achieved after an agreement between the House Freedom Caucus and the Main Street Caucus, defined by their colleagues as the group of "pragmatic conservatives."