McCarthy distances himself from House Republicans who opposed his bid to avoid a government shutdown

October 1, 2023
Robert Ayers

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) says that he does not "want to be part of [the] team" of Republicans who opposed his efforts to avoid a government shutdown. 

McCarthy said as much, according to the Daily Caller, on Saturday, after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.

In recent weeks, McCarthy made it clear that he wanted to avoid a government shutdown of nonessential activities, which would have gone into effect on Oct. 1 at midnight had Congress not passed a funding bill.

A group of House Republicans, however, made it very difficult for McCarthy to achieve his goal.

"I don't want to be part of that team"

It is this group of House Republicans that McCarthy was referring to when, on Saturday, after the short-term spending bill was passed, McCarthy said "I don't want to be part of that team."

"If you have members in your conference that won’t let you vote for appropriation bills, doesn’t want an omnibus, and won’t vote for a stopgap measure — so the only answer is to shut down and not pay our troops — I don’t want to be a part of that team," McCarthy said.

"I want to be a part of the conservative group that wants to get things done," he added.

The point of contention

The House Republicans who oppose McCarthy's short-term spending bill do so because they believe that it cedes too much control to the Democrats.

Their position was summed up by U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA), who, after the spending bill was passed on Saturday, said:

McCarthy-Jeffries ‘clean’ CR” passing with more Democrat votes than Republican votes “tells you everything you need to know. The American people didn’t give us the majority to continue Nancy Pelosi’s bloated spending levels or advance the Left’s radical policies that are destroying our nation.

It is true, as Clyde points out, that McCarthy only passed the short-term spending bill on Saturday with the help of House Democrats. The final tally was 335 to 91, with some 90 Republicans voting and one Democrat voting against the bill.

What now?

The big question going forward is whether those Republicans who opposed the short-term spending measure are going to move to have McCarthy removed from his House speakership position.

The answer, at the time of this writing, is unclear. But, there have been intimations that it is possible.

McCarthy, for his part, said that he is ready for such a challenge.

"If somebody wants to make a motion against me: bring it," he said, adding, "There has to be an adult in the room.”

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