Lawmakers Say Shutdown Now Seems Inevitable

Insiders say House hardliners are plotting to replace McCarthy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2023 6:49 AM CDT
Lawmakers Say Shutdown Now Seems Inevitable
Insider say House Majority Whip Tom Emmer is being eyed as a possible replacement for McCarthy.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Congress has until the clock strikes midnight on Saturday to pass a resolution to continue funding the government, but many lawmakers say a shutdown appears inevitable and it's no longer a question of if, but of how long. Senators say they have been told to expect votes through Sunday to get a stopgap spending measure to the House, the Hill reports. The process is expected to take at least four votes unless Republican Sen. Rand Paul drops his demand to remove $6 billion in Ukraine aid from the measure. "It's hard to see that we would get everything done by Saturday night," says Democratic Sen. Ben Hardin.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, meanwhile, has vowed to keep trying to unite House Republicans around an alternative instead of taking up the Senate measure, which would fund the government through Nov. 17. "I still got time. I've got time to do other things," he said Thursday evening, per the AP. "At the end of the day, we'll get it all done." Insiders tell the Washington Post, however, that hardline House Republicans are aiming to oust McCarthy as speaker, possibly as soon as early next week, when the government could be in the early days of a shutdown. Rep. Matt Gaetz has said he will move to have McCarthy replaced if the speaker works with Democrats to avoid a shutdown.

The sources say the hardliners are looking at House Majority Whip Tom Emmer as a possible replacement, though Emmer told the Post he fully supports McCarthy. "I have zero interest in palace intrigue. End of discussion," Emmer said in a statement. The AP reports that Republican Rep. Ken Buck, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, says the problem is that McCarthy made promises to some caucus members when he negotiated the debt limit deal with the Biden administration in June, and promises to other caucus members to get elected speaker in January, "and those two numbers are pretty far apart." (More government shutdown stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.