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Kevin McCarthy Handed Humiliating Defeat As His Own Republicans Block Defense Bill

Last updated on September 25th, 2023 at 03:00 pm

Five Republicans broke ranks and blocked a rule that would have brought a defense spending bill to the House floor for a vote as the House majority collapsed.

Politico reported:

House GOP hardliners blocked debate on their party’s defense spending bill on Tuesday, making Pentagon funding the latest casualty of a civil war between Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his conservative critics.

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Republican rebels blocked the annual defense appropriations bill in a procedural vote, delivering a stunning loss to McCarthy and hawks who’d sought to break an impasse over federal spending that forced leaders to yank the legislation last week.


Ultimately the procedural vote on the $826 billion defense spending bill, known as a rule, failed in a 212-214 vote on Tuesday. Five Republicans defected on the procedural vote, which almost always falls along party lines.

Outside of a motion to vacate, this is the most humiliating defeat that could have happened to Kevin McCarthy. The House Republican civil war has completely exploded out into the open now. There is no way for McCarthy to put a lid on it, or bring the caucus back into line. It could be said that Kevin McCarthy has lost control of the House, but he never had control of the House majority.

Kevin McCarthy is a Speaker in title only. The real power rests with the far-right MAGAs like Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Green, and others. McCarthy sold himself out to them to get the gavel, but he has no real power and authority. The House adjourned with no deal to avoid a shutdown. When Republicans come back, they will have one week to avoid a crisis, and with the caucus fighting with each other, there is no path to a solution.

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