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Biden expresses frustration after Congress narrowly avoids shutdown

Will Speaker McCarthy's last-minute decision to avert a government shutdown jeopardize his position?
Biden expresses frustration after Congress narrowly avoids shutdown
Posted at 4:49 PM, Oct 01, 2023

A government shutdown has been avoided, but a battle for speaker of the house has begun.

Saturday night’s last-minute deal funds the government for 45 days at current levels, reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration, and replenishes FEMA's disaster aid program.

President Joe Biden on Sunday pleaded with Congress to get to work on a budget now, so a threat of shutdown doesn’t happen again in mid-November.

"I strongly urge my Republican friends in Congress not to wait. Don't waste time as you did all summer. Pass a yearlong budget agreement,” said President Biden, who also expressed frustration for how long the decision took.

“I’m sick and tired of the brinksmanship. And so are the American people,” Biden said. “I’ve never quite seen a Republican Congress or any Congress act like this.”

The deal has also angered some conservatives in the House, who say the legislation violates prior promises by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. More Democrats voted for the legislation in the House than Republicans.

“I do intend to file a motion to vacate against Speaker McCarthy this week. I think we need to rip off the Band-Aid. I think we need to move on with new leadership that can be trustworthy,” said Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz on Sunday.

Gaetz said he will lead the charge to oust McCarthy from the job in the coming week. It’s unclear how many Republicans will join him.

SEE MORE: Biden signs last-minute bill to avoid government shutdown

Speaker McCarthy expressed confidence on Sunday that he could keep his job.

“Yes, I’ll survive. This is personal with Matt,” said McCarthy. “He is more interested in securing TV interviews than doing something he wanted to push us into a shutdown.”

The speaker of the House may need Democrats to save his speakership. It took him four days and 15 rounds of voting in January to win the job.

That means all eyes will be on Democratic minority leader Hakeem Jeffries. Who could cut a deal to help McCarthy? So far, some Democrats have said they would be unwilling to help a Republican.

“I do not intend on voting for a Republican Speaker of the House, but I believe it’s up to the Republican Conference to determine their own leadership,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

One possible deal could involve Ukrainian aid, which was left out of the bipartisan deal to keep the government open. The White House expressed optimism on Sunday that Congress would fund the Ukraine war at a later date.

As far as when the speaker battle could take place, the House of Representatives is set to return late on Monday. It could happen then or any other time the House is in session this week.

Under House rules, any one member can file what’s known as a "movement to vacate,” triggering the process.

Scripps News sources say a Gaetz-McCarthy battle was bound to happen at some point; some even express shock that it took this long to happen.

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