(Bloomberg) -- Representative French Hill, an ally of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, said he doesn’t think fellow Republicans are “on the right track” when it comes to trying to avert a US government shutdown.
Hill, an Arkansas Republican, spoke on Bloomberg Television’s ‘Balance of Power’ on Friday after his party’s hardliners had helped defeat McCarthy’s proposal to keep the government open for 31 days past the Sunday deadline.
The discord among House Republicans, who hold a thin majority, not only heightens the likelihood of a shutdown, but again puts off negotiations with the Democratic-led Senate and the White House.
In response to reports that he had shouted an expletive at a prominent hardliner, Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, Hill said he “was expressing frustration that a lot of people have: That we need to come together as a team, be House Republicans that lead on the most conservative outcome for the American people.”
McCarthy’s bill proposed new asylum and immigration restrictions, as well as 30% cuts to most federal agencies, excluding the Defense Department, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs.
But far-right House members have been pushing for a vote on 12 spending bills that would likely take weeks to pass, rather than a piece of legislation to keep the government running in the short-term.
Earlier: Hardliners Defeat McCarthy Shutdown Bill, Risking Longer Closure
Even if McCarthy’s proposal were to pass the House, it would almost certainly be dead on arrival in the Senate in part because of the conservative immigration policies included. At the same time, the GOP is mulling several other options to finance the government and avert a shutdown.
The Biden administration and Democratic lawmakers have said blame for the turmoil lies with Republicans.
“The House has been hijacked by extremists obsessed with making life harder and more expensive for working people. It does not have to be this way,” Democratic Whip Katherine Clark said Friday. “This impending disaster can still be averted if just a handful of Republicans would stop listening to Donald Trump — if just a few Members would honor their oath of office and say, ‘enough is enough.’”
--With assistance from Annmarie Hordern and Joe Mathieu.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
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