The narrow loss Friday of a continuing resolution that contained much of the conservative agenda and the subsequent enactment of a CR that essentially preserves spending and programs at present levels was discussed with Newsmax by several Republican U.S. Representatives.
Almost to a person, they blamed Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and several allies in the House for undercutting enactment of the Friday CR and forcing them to vote for the package under which the government will be funded until November 17.
"We should have passed the one from yesterday," a Republican House Member who requested anonymity told Newsmax on Saturday, "Matt Gaetz and a few will never vote for anything — no matter what."
The package referred to H.R. 5525, which would have funded the government through October 31, would have reduced most domestic discretionary spending by nearly 30 percent, created a Fiscal Commission charged with making changes to Medicare, and contained a strong border security program. It was defeated by 232 to 198, with 21 Republicans, including Gaetz, opposing it. Most said they did so on the grounds of opposing continuing resolutions.
As to the argument that their party was committed never to keep the government running through a CR, the same lawmaker told us: "I don't like the CR — but it was the strategic thing to do to keep the government open and prevent the Democrats from controlling the House after a shutdown."
Regarding the CR that passed on Saturday with unanimous Democrat support, the GOP member said: "I hate to be forced into this — but that's what Gaetz and his crew did."
This 71-page measure passed the House by 335 to 91, with 90 Republicans voting no. Only one Democrat, Mike Quigley of Illinois, voted no over the CR's failure to include any aid to Ukraine. The Senate subsequently passed it, and President Biden signed into law the bill that will keep the government running until November 17.
Stalwart conservative Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., did go on the record about his support for the CR that went down on Friday.
"The defeated CR amounted to a substantial reduction in non-defense discretionary spending and enacted H.R. 2 which would have fully and permanently secured our border," he said, "It failed because 21 Republicans voted against it, costing us a major policy victory. Its defeat gave the leadership no alternative than to put a 'clean' CR on the floor, since a shutdown would have stripped Republicans of any leverage to enact further reforms and set the stage for the left to run the table."
As for the CR that did pass on Saturday and which the Senate subsequently supported, McClintock told us: "The measure that was passed gives us 45 days to enact the remaining appropriations bills that have many solid conservative reforms and place us in a stronger position going into conference with the Senate."
Regarding Gaetz's planned motion to vacate the chair and possibly bring about a vote on his speakership, fellow Californian McClintock said: "Is McCarthy safe in his job? He has the overwhelming respect and support of Republicans. But if a motion is put on the floor to remove him – there are 212 Democrats who can combine with five Republicans to replace him. And I suspect it won't be the five most conservative Republicans that the Democrats join in choosing a replacement."
McClintock recalled how when Republicans actually won a slim majority in the California Assembly in 1994, Democrat Speaker Willie Brown remained in power through the votes of a few renegade Republicans.
"That happened in California in 1994," he told us, "If that happens here, the Republican House majority is effectively ended."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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