House Republicans are letting loose with criticism of their GOP colleagues who voted against the conference’s short-term funding bill with just a day and a half until a government shutdown.
“There are 21 Republicans who just voted to defund the United States military and keep the border open,” said Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-Wis.). “They need to be called out by name. I mean, this is not a Republican shutdown. This is a shutdown — if we don’t get this done soon — that is caused by 21 individual members of the Republican conference.”
The failed bill would have extended funding until Oct. 31 with spending cuts and included a swath of border policy changes, and was intended to give the House GOP leverage ahead of negotiations with the Democratic-controlled Senate and White House.
But with the failure of the bill, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) unwilling to bring up a Senate continuing resolution, a shutdown looks likelier than ever.
Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), a moderate, placed the blame for the looming shutdown directly on Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), one of the most prominent opponents to the stopgap who has also been threatening to vote to remove McCarthy.
“Unfortunately, a handful of people, and in particular a party of one — Matt Gaetz — have chosen to put his own agenda, his own personal agenda, above all else,” Lawler said.
“There’s only one person to blame for any potential government shutdown, and that’s Matt Gaetz,” Lawler continued. “He’s not a conservative Republican. He’s a charlatan. And as far as I’m concerned, when you’re working with Democrats to try to vacate the speaker, you’re a joke. This needs to come to an end.”
Gaetz earlier Friday denied a report he was talking to Democrats about an effort to oust McCarthy.
“I’m not doing that. That’s false,” Gaetz said.
Gaetz responded to Lawler’s comment on Rep. Andy Biggs’s podcast.
“I’ll get my blanket and curl up in the corner and, you know, call my therapist and see how to work through all of the hurt feelings,” he quipped.
Lawler, though, is not alone in specifically calling out Gaetz.
“EVERY SINGLE DEMOCRAT just joined Matt Gaetz and MTG for open borders and a closed government,” Rep. John James (R-Mich.) posted on X. “Democrats and the Clown Caucus care more about their fundraising goals than America’s wellbeing.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), one of the holdouts, echoed concerns from the others about Congress often extending funding through continuing resolutions rather than passing regular appropriations bills on time.
“I don’t think up to the deadline pressure produces good results and decades of America last policies and $33 Trillion dollars in debt is proof that Washington’s same old tricks just don’t work,” Greene posted on X.
Shortly after the failed stopgap, House Republican leaders sent out notice that there would be votes on Saturday. It is not yet clear what they will vote on.
Alex Bolton contributed.