Feb 27, 2024  |  
 | Remer,MN
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Alex Miller

NextImg:McCarthy turns to a ‘clean’ stopgap bill to avoid a shutdown, puts the ball in the Democrats’ court

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is moving forward with a “clean” stopgap spending bill that ditches border policy and spending cuts, saying he tried and failed to rally his Republicans to pass a hyper-conservative version to keep the government open.

The move bucks the arch-conservatives in the GOP conference and will require Democratic votes to pass, which for Mr. McCarthy, risks a rebellion by his members who have threatened to kick him out as speaker.

“If somebody wants to remove [me] because I want to be the adult in the room. Go ahead and try,” Mr. McCarthy said. 

With just hours before the midnight shutdown deadline, the new bill will extend current funding for 45 days and includes President Biden’s request for $16 billion in emergency disaster funding. 

The plan is to put the stopgap bill on the floor for a vote Saturday afternoon under suspension, meaning that Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, can avoid wasting time with procedural votes. 

It also means that for the bill to pass, a two-thirds majority vote in favor of the measure is required. 

However, the speaker has no assurances from the 21 holdout votes in his party on whether they will support the bill. 

The leader of the holdouts, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, has promised to bring a motion to vacate if Mr. McCarthy brings a clean bill or tries to rely on Democrats to pass a stopgap bill. 

• Alex Miller can be reached at