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Index – Abroad – The battle for the soul of the Republican Party is deepening

For the first run It does not work Kevin McCarthy, Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, confirmed that the House of Representatives, which has a majority of his party, is opening the door to debate on one of the draft budget laws for the fiscal year 2024, which will be about financing the Pentagon. , the country’s Ministry of Defense.

The opening of the debate was rejected by five far-right Republican representatives who voted with the Democrats by 214 to 212.

This has put the Speaker of the House in a difficult position if he wants to avoid a federal government shutdown after September 30. As mentioned earlier, the US Congress must until then adopt next year’s budget, for which 12 bills must be voted on by the House of Representatives, the House of Representatives, and the Senate, the Senate. If this is not met, the federal state will begin the new fiscal year starting from the first of October without a budget, meaning in this case its work will stop – only the vital entities affiliated with federal agencies and offices will continue to work within the framework of a more restrictive framework, while Paying salaries to public sector employees who are left without it.

This possibility seems more likely. Because on Tuesday, in addition to the Pentagon budget, there is also another proposal They would have voted Lawmakers, who would have funded the federal government for an additional 30 days to give the parties time to negotiate while avoiding a government shutdown.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy simply removed the interim budget vote from the agenda – because he clearly does not have a majority to support it.

This is a harsh blow once again for the Speaker of the House, who is trying to maneuver a four-state majority just to keep the divided Republican faction in the same boat, where moderate center-right and far-right representatives cannot always find a common denominator.

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In addition, the latter have only 45 members out of 222, as the McCarthys can only lose four votes to still have the 218 votes needed for a majority, which is why the far-right Freedom Caucus is exploiting this. Situation.

It is increasingly likely that if there is one, it will be a temporary budget

The difficulties surrounding the budget vote are also surprising, because regarding raising the debt ceiling, Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican Kevin McCarthy have already broadly agreed on next year’s budget. However, according to members of the Freedom Caucus, the spending cuts laid out in the Biden deal- McCarthy is not ambitious enough, and they want an additional budget of $120 billion less for fiscal year 2024 than in the agreement.

Freedom Rally members are sticking to their position, until then

Far-right Republicans are also willing to reject any budget proposal and shut down the federal government if it is unacceptable to them.

One of its members, Ana Paulina Luna of Florida, said Sunday Wire A local news channel said that they are preparing to shut down the government for at least ten days, while the Speaker of the House of Representatives continues to adhere to his previous promise and wants to avoid a shutdown at all costs.

Last week, McCarthy promised reporters that until the budget was passed, representatives would not leave Washington, but according to press reports, at a caucus meeting last week, he was frustrated and extremely upset that two Freedom Caucus members always remained out of line. The bills are shaped to the taste of representatives loyal to Trump.

However, they are working on the solution in the background. The leader of one moderate group is working with Freedom Caucus Leader Scott Perry on the Oct. 31 budget, which would cut the entire budget by a total of 8 percent excluding federal programs for veterans, a bitter pill for many moderates. It absolutely is unacceptable. For this

Which, by the way, won’t be an easy task either, since the Democrats have so far stood together on very important issues and voted as the faction leader requested. In addition, McCarthy is slowly running out of time, as some far-right groups increasingly threaten to remove him from his position as Speaker of the House.

One of the most famous members of the Freedom Caucus, Matt Gaetz from Florida, who has never supported a McCarthy presidency, has already indicated several times that he will begin the process of impeaching McCarthy – for the House of Representatives to vote on it, just the signature of one representative is enough, after McCarthy obtained such a deal Such a deal had to be concluded with representatives of the extreme right during the elections for the Speaker of Parliament, which lasted 15 rounds.

Will the Democrats save McCarthy, who wants to impeach Biden?

On the other hand, the current stalemate puts not only Republicans in a difficult position, but also Democrats.

Democratic representatives led by Hakeem Jeffries can choose between two difficult, and not at all ideal, positions for them:

Although basically they are not in as dire a state as the Speaker of the House.

Democrats, like McCarthy, make clear they also want to avoid a government shutdown because it doesn’t help the American people. At the same time, it is considered a violation of the Biden-McCarthy agreement for Republicans to reduce what they cannot stand behind compared to the draft budget stipulated in the agreement.

Additionally, a shutdown could be politically counterproductive for Democrats, because Republicans who want to prove they can govern can’t get to the polls, but a shutdown could backfire on a Biden presidency as well.

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In addition, apart from the budget, there is also the question of how the Democrats will vote if Gaetz carries out his threats and initiates the procedure aimed at removing McCarthy: in exchange for appropriate concessions and promises, they can save the speaker’s position. With their votes, but at the same time, their dilemma is that the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives has formally asked the House Law Committee to begin an investigation into the constitutional impeachment (impeachment) of President Joe Biden, which is usually done before – the pre-emptive step if he were to start the procedure against someone .

This – just like the deviation from the negotiated budget plan regarding the debt ceiling – was also assessed as a loss of confidence on the part of the Speaker of the House. the For the hill Several Democratic representatives said that if McCarthy really wanted to keep his job, he would have to convince them personally why it would be in their best interest, but at the same time, faction leader Jeffries said, they had not really thought about the issue in the House. faction so far.

However, cooperating with Democrats would likely be the House Speaker’s last resort — whether on the budget or a possible impeachment vote — because that would lead to the complete disintegration of the Republican faction that never united.

Therefore, it is also questionable whether Gaetz is really risking all this or is just using the action as a ruse to pressure McCarthy. A vote to remove the Speaker of the House of Representatives will not reflect well on the party’s opinion.

(Cover Photo: Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on January 3, 2023. Image: Win McNamee/Getty Images)