Wed. Apr 24th, 2024
Congress averts government shutdown, leaving Kevin McCarthy in speakership fight


It’s a busy Sunday in US politics, the morning after a narrowly averted government shutdown.

A stopgap deal struck by Congress will only fund the government for 45 days, and Republican infighting has boiled over into an effort to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his House leadership post.

Here are some of the latest comments from key figures Sunday:

Sen. Joe Manchin speaks during a hearing in Washington, DC, on June 8.
Sen. Joe Manchin speaks during a hearing in Washington, DC, on June 8. Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/Reuters

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin praised House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for passing the stopgap bill while facing a revolt from his right flank.

“I praise Kevin McCarthy for what he did yesterday,” Manchin said on Fox News Sunday. “He finally realized you can’t reason with unreasonable people.”  

Sen. Lindsey Graham attends a press conference on September 27, in Washington, DC.
Sen. Lindsey Graham attends a press conference on September 27, in Washington, DC. Mariam Zuhaib/AP

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham also praised McCarthy on Sunday, saying he is the “right guy at the right time for the job.” 

“The only way he loses his job is if a handful of Republicans join up with the Democratic party to fire him. That would be a disaster for the future of the Republican party,” Graham said on CBS’ “Face The Nation.”

Graham said McCarthy has the “overwhelming confidence of his membership,” adding that the speaker is making the right demands for border security and aide to Ukraine. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attends a hearing in Washington DC, on September 28. 
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attends a hearing in Washington DC, on September 28.  Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she would vote to oust McCarthy if given the opportunity, and that it is not Democrats’ job to help Republicans with problems of their own making.

“I believe it’s up to the Republican conference to determine their own leadership and deal with their own problems. But it’s not up to Democrats to save Republicans. From themselves, especially,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

She said she would “absolutely” cast the vote to oust McCarthy, calling him a “weak speaker.”

Ocasio-Cortez said she would not expect Democrats to cross the aisle and save McCarthy without a conversation between leadership about “what that would mean.”

“I don’t think we’d give up votes for free,” she said.

When it comes to what Democrats would ask for in exchange for their votes, Ocasio-Cortez indicated it would have to be some sort of power-sharing agreement.

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley delivers a speech on September 22, in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley delivers a speech on September 22, in Manchester, New Hampshire. Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley defended her support for US aid to Ukraine after the stopgap bill passed by Congress excluded additional funding for the war-torn country.

Haley said both Republicans and Democrats have spent taxpayer dollars “in a ridiculous way,” so it’s dishonest to say that the US cannot spend more on Ukraine, which she described as a key national security priority.

The former South Carolina governor also laid blame on President Biden for the lack of Ukraine funding, saying he has done a “horrific job of really explaining to the American people — and making a transparent — of where this money goes. The fact that … it is actually going to prevent war.”



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