McCarthy: Americans should not expect shutdown, ‘crunch time’ could move holdouts

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Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Saturday said Americans should not expect a shutdown, even though House Republicans are no closer to finding a solution to fund the government with just a week until the Sept. 30 deadline.

“I mean, listen, that’s on the first. We still have a number of days,” McCarthy said at the Capitol on Saturday, adding: “I never give up on America.”

GOP leaders had aimed last week to pass a short-term stopgap bill that would extend government funding for a month and include border policy changes and spending cuts.

They hoped the bill, though dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled Senate, would articulate a Republican position that could give them leverage in future negotiations.

But opposition from conservatives in the narrow GOP majority tanked those plans. The hard-line Republican opponents called for lower funding levels across all 12 appropriations bills, 11 of which the House has yet to pass. And some members insist they will not support a short-term stopgap at all.

Now, GOP leaders are capitulating to those demands. Republicans on Saturday completed preparations to advance four of 12 regular appropriations bills next week, in hopes of building goodwill with the holdouts that could sway them to support a GOP-only stopgap bill.

“I think when it gets crunch time, people that have been holding off all this time blaming everybody else, will finally, hopefully, move off,” McCarthy said. “Because shutting down, and having border agents not get paid, your Coast Guard not get paid – I don’t see how that’s a victory.”

Government funding runs out on Sept. 30.

Mychael Schnell contributed.

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