The Republicans Driving Congress Toward a Shutdown

Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday was toiling to build Republican support for a long-shot bid to avert a shutdown, floating a bill that would keep government funding flowing at vastly reduced levels while imposing stringent immigration restrictions demanded by conservatives.

The proposal stands little chance in the Democrat-controlled Senate. But Mr. McCarthy’s more immediate problem is in his own chamber, where the math is not in his favor.

Already, at least 10 hard-right lawmakers have declared they will not vote for any stopgap measure under any circumstances, because they are opposed to funding the government — even temporarily — with a single up-or-down vote.

Their opposition effectively closes off Mr. McCarthy’s simplest escape hatch to avoid a government shutdown on Sunday. With Democrats sure to oppose the spending cuts and border restrictions, he can afford to lose no more than four Republicans if all members show up and vote. And turning to Democrats for help would put his speakership at risk.

Stalemated on any real action to keep the government open, House Republicans instead spent Wednesday working to appease the hard right by adding a litany of arch-conservative amendments to four individual spending bills they are trying to push through. The amendments include a proposal that would reduce the salary of Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, the first Black man to hold the post, to $1.

The additions are likely to make passing those bills — which are doomed in the Senate anyway — even more difficult.

“Buckle up,” warned Representative Andy Ogles of Tennessee, one of the holdouts. “There’s turbulence ahead.”

Here are the House Republicans who are opposing a temporary spending measure, known on Capitol Hill as a continuing resolution or “C.R.”

Matt Gaetz of Florida

Mr. Gaetz has led the resistance to passage of a continuing resolution in any form. He has called for a permanent end to the maneuver, arguing that the House must instead pass individual spending bills one by one, a process that stands no chance of being completed in time to avert a shutdown.

Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida has been the most vocal opponent to the continuing resolution, which would allow the government to stay open.Credit…Maansi Srivastava/The New York Times

“I believe I am giving a eulogy for the C.R.,” Mr. Gaetz said last week. “I’m not going to vote for a continuing resolution, full stop.”

Tim Burchett of Tennessee

Mr. Burchett, who took office during the last shutdown in 2019, said a vote in favor of a stopgap measure would contribute to a vicious spending cycle that needs to be broken, comparing it to feeding a drug addiction.

He has criticized his Republican colleagues for supporting what he calls an extension of Democratic spending priorities.

Representative Tim Burchett of Tennessee has criticized his Republican colleagues for supporting what he calls an extension of Democratic spending priorities.Credit…Kenny Holston/The New York Times

“You have folks that come to Washington and say, ‘Oh, I’m going to be a fiscal conservative; I’m going to be tough on this’ — and then they’re not,” Burchett said in an interview with CNN.

Anna Paulina Luna of Florida

Ms. Luna has been back in Florida since delivering a baby in late August. Last week, as Republicans tried to devise a continuing resolution that could win over the hard liners, she was one of the first to line up in opposition. On social media, she said that she would fly back to help defeat it if her vote were needed.

She has been emblazoning her social media posts with the hashtag “NOCR,” and on Wednesday curtly expressed her preference for individual measures instead, writing: “SINGLE SUBJECT SPENDING BILLS.”

Eli Crane of Arizona

A member of the House Freedom Caucus, Mr. Crane has already shown his resolve in bucking Republican leaders. He was the sole freshman Republican in Congress to oppose Mr. McCarthy’s bid for the speakership until the bitter end. Now, Mr. Crane is at odds with Mr. McCarthy once again, posting on social media, “No more CRs.”

Andy Ogles of Tennessee

Despite a renewed push from House Republican leaders to unify their party behind a temporary fix, Mr. Ogles has remained unmoved in his opposition. He told supporters, in a video interview clip shared on social media, that he would “fight like hell” to keep pushing for a budget process that does not include a continuing resolution.

“I’m committed to finishing the appropriations process, passing the 12 appropriations bills,” Mr. Ogles said on Wednesday. “Once we’ve done that, then we can look at any short-term stuff.”

Matt Rosendale of Montana

Mr. Rosendale, who is seeking a rematch of his unsuccessful 2018 Senate bid, also said his opposition to a continuing resolution is to keep Republican leaders focused on passing individual spending bills for the next year.

“For months, I have made it very clear that I will not be supporting a C.R.,” Mr. Rosendale said in a statement.

Andy Biggs of Arizona

Seen as a ringleader of the anti-McCarthy Republicans in the House, Mr. Biggs is calling on his lawmakers to “hold the line” by not allowing a continuing resolution to pass.

“We can’t have that. No more CRs,” Mr. Biggs wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Representative Eli Crane of Arizona, left, and Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona have both stood in opposition to Mr. McCarthy.Credit…Haiyun Jiang for The New York Times

Still, after senators put forward an interim funding plan late Tuesday, Mr. Biggs did not immediately reject the possibility of supporting it when it reaches the House.

“I’ve heard a little bit about it,” he told reporters. “I’ve got to see what all is in it.”

Dan Bishop of North Carolina

An outspoken voice against any stopgap proposal that has been floated in the House, Mr. Bishop is calling for government spending to be pulled back to prepandemic levels. Like the other Republican holdouts, Mr. Bishop is using the leverage of a shutdown to force the House to consider individual spending measures.

“Pass the damn approps bills,” he wrote on social media.

Wesley Hunt of Texas

Days before the funding deadline Mr. Hunt, a first-term Republican, joined the opposition to a stopgap measure and calls for a focus on passing the 12 individual spending bills one by one.

“Kevin McCarthy made a promise to us about individual spending bills, and, you know, we’re just hoping he would keep his promise,” a spokesman for Mr. Hunt said on Wednesday, affirming his opposition to any temporary funding bill.

Cory Mills of Florida

After his calls for Congress to work through the August recess to pass a spending package were ignored, Mr. Mills said he did not support a temporary patch to give members more time to avoid a shutdown. He has renewed his calls for members to stick around in Washington to break the stalemate, writing on Wednesday that a “No Budget, No Recess” policy should be put in place for Congress.

When details of the Senate proposal were shared on Tuesday, Mr. Mills said his greatest frustration was the inclusion of funding for Ukraine. When asked if he would support the same measure without funding for the war, he replied: “No, I would not.”

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