McCarthy gets tough with the right

2023-09-19 12:00:00  • 5 mins

After months tiptoeing around the conservatives who have made his speakership a constant high-wire act, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy appears to be fed up and ready to fight.

The embattled speaker could spark a showdown in the coming days under a plan his leadership team discussed yesterday, according to people familiar with the talks. With 12 days till a government shutdown and more than 15 conservatives lined up in opposition to a proposed GOP stopgap, the plan is simple: Dare them to vote against it.

The holdouts might very well do that, the thinking goes, but at the cost of isolating themselves from the rest of the party by sinking a bill their fellow Freedom Caucus allies helped write one that takes steps to slash spending and fortify the border, both key GOP issues.

That would set McCarthy & Co. up to blame those holdouts for undercutting the partys negotiating hand with Democrats, ultimately leading to the Senate jamming the House with a shutdown-averting stopgap without any Republican concessions.

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I think the way that would work is it would be an individual vote. It would be out and voted on by itself, McCarthy told reporters as he arrived at the Capitol.
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