Republican chaos all but assures US government shutdown
The longer it lasts, the more pain it will inflict. Medicare and social security recipients could face delays and food assistance programs for poor families might be tightened.
Airport workers and air traffic controllers will also not get paid which the Biden administration says will be a “recipe for chaos” given the existing staff shortages across the industry.
And even the White House, which had been planning a busy travel schedule for Biden next month to tout his economic agenda, would have to rethink its strategy as a shutdown would likely curtail the president’s ability to hit the campaign trail.
Speaking at a farewell event for General Mark Milley, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Biden also warned about the impact to US troops.
“Thousands of Defence Department civilian and civilian servants will be sent home. And the longer the shutdown lasts, the harder it will become for military families to pay their bills,” he said on Friday.
“We can’t be playing politics while our troops stand in the breach. It’s an absolute dereliction of duty.”
The stopgap bill McCarthy put up on Friday would have cut nearly 30 per cent to many agencies and also contained severe border security provisions – which is essentially what the hardliners had suggested they wanted.
But in the end, it failed to please enough people on either side of politics: far right Republicans said it didn’t go far enough, while the White House and Democrats branded it as too extreme.
Ultimately, it was voted down 198-232, with 21 hard-right Republicans voting to sink the package.
Republican Ken Buck, who voted against stopgap funding measure, said the failed effort was a “no confidence vote” in McCarthy.
But others in the party were fuming, singling out right-wingers such as Florida congressman Matt Gaetz – who despises McCarthy and has threatened to oust him – for acting in self-interest rather than for the American people.
“There’s only one person to blame for any potential government shutdown and that’s Matt Gaetz,” Republican Mike Lawler told reporters following the vote. “He is not a conservative Republican. He’s a charlatan.”