Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), a top ally of Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), said Sunday that he drafted a motion to oust McCarthy from the Speakership in an effort to stop conservatives from hanging the idea over the California Republican’s head.
“Matter of fact, look, I’ll tell you — I drafted a motion to vacate for the Speaker as well,” Graves told CNN. “I’ve got it sitting on my desk right now. And I said, ‘Look, if you’re gonna keep hanging this over [his] head and playing these games, let’s just do it now, let’s get it over with, get your little games over with, and then we’ll get back to focusing on the things that actually matter.’”
McCarthy has faced increased threats of removal from some hard-line conservatives in his own conference, notably from Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), a constant critic of McCarthy who has threatened to put a motion on the floor to remove him from the Speakership if he does not cave to a series of demands on spending.
Under current House rules, it only takes one member to bring up a motion to vacate the Speakership.
The federal government is set to run out of funds by the end of this week unless Congress can pass a temporary funding measure beforehand. Hoping to avert a shutdown, GOP leaders last week tried to pass a rule on a short-term stopgap bill, known as a continuing resolution (CR), to extend government funding past the Sept. 30 deadline, but were met with conservative opposition in the narrow GOP majority.
Over the next week, Republicans will work to pass four of their 12 full-year government funding bills in a concession to the hard-liners. While it does not avoid a shutdown, GOP leaders hope the move will build enough goodwill with holdouts to make another attempt at a short-term funding bill.
The Republicans against a CR argue Congress should only work on passing regular appropriations bills and break the pattern of stopgaps that often force lawmakers to swallow huge funding bills prior to the end-of-year holidays.
Graves said Saturday he thinks people’s “perverted intentions have really caused problems this year,” and that if there is a shutdown, it will be due to “a failure in strategy that was absolutely manipulated or distorted by disingenuous behavior, intentions and probably ignorance.”
“The arsonists are out there, number one, whining that their house is on fire; number two, are going to want credit that they put the fire out; and then number three, are gonna set up a GoFundMe site to get paid for it,” Graves told reporters.
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