Kevin Owen McCarthy‘s change of heart occurred just one day after he initially announced plans to remove approximately $300 million in aid for Ukraine from the Pentagon bill and hold a separate vote, in response to resistance from within his own party.
Speaker Kevin Owen McCarthy has reversed his decision to exclude Ukraine aid from a massive military spending bill, as the Republican party wrestles with the challenges of government funding
However, during a Capitol briefing on Saturday, Kevin Owen McCarthy revealed that the bill would proceed with Ukraine aid intact. Kevin Owen McCarthy cited the complexity of removing the aid due to the Republicans’ funding strategy, which involves combining the Defense bill with other measures. This development has cast fresh uncertainty on whether the Pentagon spending bill will even make it to debate, having already faced two recent failures.
Republicans are gearing up for a pivotal vote scheduled for Tuesday, aiming to kickstart debates on four crucial government funding bills, including Defense, State, Homeland Security, and agriculture. Nevertheless, the outcome remains uncertain, and even if they manage to initiate debates or pass any of the bills, it may not prevent the looming shutdown scheduled for October 1.
The ongoing fluctuations regarding Ukraine funding underscore the daily challenges faced by the House GOP, struggling with a narrow majority and multiple absent lawmakers
Efforts to win over Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene by stripping Ukraine aid from the Defense bill backfired when the larger deal, which included State Department funding, dissuaded her from supporting the bills’ advancement.
Now, Republicans plan to conduct a floor vote to remove Ukraine-related funds from both the Defense and State bills, practically ensuring that the aid remains intact with Democratic support. Their hope is that by advancing some of the larger funding bills, they can sway holdouts who are reluctant to support a short-term spending patch required to avert a shutdown.
As the situation evolves, Kevin Owen McCarthy has proposed extending the funding patch to 45 days to provide more time for comprehensive funding bill negotiations with the White House and Senate. However, some conservatives remain opposed to short-term solutions, even if it means risking a government shutdown, leading to divisions within the Republican ranks on the best course of action.