(DCWatchdog.com) – House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has suffered a crushing intra-GOP defeat after Freedom Caucus conservatives managed to derail the passage of the annual bill to fund the US Department of Defense in a move that made an October 1 government shutdown all the more likely.
Thursday’s vote saw the second time the House conservatives torpedoed the debates on the Pentagon spending legislation, thus “embarrassing” McCarthy, who had declared he had the votes to advance the bill, The Washington Times reports.
It notes that the speaker is trying to avoid a partial federal shutdown after September 30 by attempting to pass annual spending bills and a stopgap bill.
However, conservative lawmakers are demanding a reduction of state spending, down from the specifics of the deal that McCarthy made with President Joe Biden in May to avoid a federal default.
“[This is] frustrating in the sense that I don’t understand why anybody votes against bringing the idea and having the debate, and then you got all the amending if you don’t like the bill,” the speaker commented to reporters after he failed to advance the Pentagon legislation.
“This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down. That doesn’t work,” he added.
The vote to advance the bill failed by 212-216. Six Republicans sided with the Democrats in frustrating the measure: Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Tom Cole of Oklahoma, Eli Crane of Arizona, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and Matt Rosendale of Montana.
After hours of talks following his setback, House Republicans’ leaders said there would be no more votes on Thursday and probably none “for the rest of the week,” The Times informs.
On Wednesday night, McCarthy had announced that he had flipped two conservative Republicans that helped derail the defense spending bill the first time.
The two legislators supported advancing the bill, but others replaced them in the intra-GOP opposition.
Rep. Bishop stressed that McCarthy’s consecutive failures were adding up.
“If you’re the person who’s failed 10 times, you’ve got to be the person to come forward with something constructive saying, ‘Here’s how we’re going to do it. And here’s how you can count on it and rely on it,’” the lawmaker said.