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GOP lawmakers who ousted McCarthy over his support for CR have ensured passage of another one

Scalise and Jordan, who both ran for House speaker, acknowledged that another Continuing Resolution (CR) would have to pass given the time lost after the vote to remove McCarthy as speaker. It was McCarthy's support for a CR that caused his ouster in the first place.

Published: October 12, 2023 11:00pm

The conservative GOP lawmakers who voted to oust former House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy for passing a 45-day Continuing Resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown have ensured passage of another CR as the Republican conference continues to search for a consensus speaker candidate, according to multiple Republicans. 

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who led the effort to oust McCarthy, argued that the California Republican should have pushed harder to pass 12 separate "single subject" appropriations bills as opposed to governing with a temporary CR that lumped federal spending into one large piece of legislation. 

Ironically, Scalise and Jordan, who both ran for House speaker after McCarthy's removal, had acknowledged that another CR in some form would likely be needed given the time lost after McCarthy's removal as speaker last week.

Federal funding under the CR that passed under McCarthy expires on Nov. 17.

Gaetz responded to those pointing out another CR might be needed due to McCarthy's ousting saying that Scalise or Jordan would be an "upgrade" from McCarthy. 

"I can’t say that any candidate sings precisely my tune on single subject spending bills but both are better on this than McCarthy. As you know, I’m very passionate about this reform," Gaetz wrote Thursday on X.

Scalise, who won the speaker nomination over Jordan in a 113-99 caucus vote on Wednesday has since abandoned his candidacy after coming up short of the simple majority needed to be formally elected speaker on the House floor. Due to vacancies, 217 would be needed to win the speakership on the floor.

Voting on legislation is frozen until a speaker is elected.

"Many Americans are sick and tired of Continuing Resolutions and omnibuses but because they ousted Speaker McCarthy last week, then here we are wasting time, losing time with the inability to finish our task to pass 12 separate appropriation bills," said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. "We're going to run out of time."

Rep. Ben Cline, R-Va., a member of the House Appropriations Committee, also said Congress is running out of time to pass a spending bill to keep the government funded, so another CR is most likely going to be required.

"Unfortunately, the days are growing short, and we have only done half of our appropriations bills and not to mention the Senate hasn't done any of their appropriations bills," he said. "So we are going to come up on this November 17th fiscal cliff pretty quickly. "Every minute counts."

Cline said the House should continue its appropriations work even if it can't formally pass the bills until a speaker is elected.

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., doubts anyone inside the GOP conference can reach 217 votes.

"I said that Matt Gaetz was making a mistake when he made the motion to vacate. You have to have a plan B," he said on the "Just the News, No Noise" TV program. "You know, we're all replaceable in Congress but at the end of the day, when you've got a situation where we have four or five people that can disrupt a vote, any vote, then you've got a situation on your hands, and right now, I'm trying to be completely honest with you, no one in our conference can get the 217."

Two lawmakers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said an effort to make Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., an interim speaker is underway, although questions about the constitutionality of such a move remain unresolved.

Not all GOP House members are on board with that idea though. "This would be a terrible idea that McHenry himself rejected," Gaetz wrote Thursday evening on X.

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