On Thursday, the House witnessed a vote that rejected a rule designed to advance a Defense Department bill, marking yet another obstacle for Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the House Republican leadership as the deadline for a government shutdown looms large.
The final vote tally stood at 216-212.
Although the specific legislation is unrelated to a proposal for funding the government beyond the September 30 deadline, this defeat underscores the divisions within the House Republican Conference.
Over the past few days, the conference has been engaged in negotiations to devise a unifying plan for GOP House members. This marks the third time that House Republicans have defied McCarthy and GOP leadership by voting against a rule—a typically routine step taken to advance legislation.
McCarthy left the House floor visibly frustrated as the proceedings ground to a halt due to the opposition of House hardliners who rejected another rule.
He criticized this group for seemingly wanting to disrupt proceedings, stating, ‘It’s frustrating in the sense that I don’t understand why anybody votes against bringing the idea and having the debate,’ in comments to reporters.
The resistance from hardline members has posed challenges for Republican leadership in their efforts to reach a consensus on government funding.
While several days of negotiations have yielded some apparent progress, McCarthy’s Republican opponents have consistently cast doubt on these developments and openly defied his calls for unity.
McCarthy’s slim majority in the chamber means that he can only afford to lose the support of four members in most votes without any backing from Democrats, and the presence or absence of members can alter the majority threshold.”