House Democrats called it a day for the week after yet another failure to reach an agreement on any spending measures before the looming government shutdown deadline, prompting ridicule from President Joe Biden.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has until Sept. 30 to negotiate an agreement among his caucus members, with five GOP hardliners consistently voting against their party’s majority due to frustration with McCarthy’s leadership. Just hours before the chamber went into weekend recess, the five holdouts again blocked debate on a key Pentagon funding bill and called for further spending cuts on the bill.
“It’s frustrating in the sense that I don’t understand how anyone would vote against bringing up the idea and having the debate,” McCarthy told reporters as he left the House floor, NBC News reported.
“This is a completely new concept of individuals just wanting to burn everything down,” the spokesman added. “That does not work.”
As lawmakers headed home Thursday afternoon, President Joe Biden The White House has asked Congress to approve a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded through October, but there is no sign that agreement can be reached on a smaller bill by the deadline.
“During the last government shutdown, 800,000 Americans were furloughed or working without pay,” Biden said wrote on X. “But enjoy your weekend.”
Other Democrats joined in the online mockery. Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman, who has been the focus of attention from some Republicans this week for his workplace clothing choices, also responded to the weekend break news on his X account.
“After a long week of complaining about my outfit choice, the GOP is heading home,” the senator said wrote, along with a video of a young girl rolling her eyes. “It’s a good thing they didn’t have anything important to do this week…”
Newsweek contacted McCarthy’s office via email seeking comment.
The last time the government shut down was in December 2018 because former President Donald Trump called on Congress to provide funding to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. This shutdown lasted 35 days, the longest in US history.
McCarthy spent more than two hours in a closed session with House Republicans on Wednesday evening to hammer out a new short-term plan to keep the government running, which called for a drastic 8 percent cut to many federal programs. However, the bill is likely to be rejected by the Democratic-controlled Senate if it makes its way through the House, the Associated Press reported.
A representative from House Majority Leader Tom Emmer’s office told ABC News that lawmakers would be “amply notified” if a vote was scheduled during the recess and that members would be “on call” throughout the weekend.