A group of House conservatives delivered a significant blow to their party’s leadership by blocking a crucial procedural vote on an appropriations bill, highlighting the ongoing challenges faced by Republicans in the government funding process. This move comes as tensions within Congress have been escalating over the past 10 weeks.
Shortly after the procedural vote failed, the office of House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) made an unexpected announcement that no further votes would be expected until November 28. Originally, the House had scheduled additional votes for the same day, but the unexpected turn of events changed that plan.
One day prior to this incident, Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) accused former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) of physically elbowing him in the back, an accusation that McCarthy vehemently denied. These confrontations underscored the heightened atmosphere within Congress.
In a surprising turn of events, 19 hardline conservative House members joined forces with Democrats to oppose the rule governing the legislation funding Commerce, Justice, Science, and related agencies, as well as a separate bill related to Iran. The vote ended in a 198-225 outcome, effectively blocking the House from considering these crucial measures.
This failed vote followed the House’s approval of a two-step stopgap bill, which faced opposition from several hardline conservatives. The bill, now headed to the Senate for consideration, seeks to extend funding at current levels for specific agencies and programs until January 19, with an extension for all others until February 2. It also includes an extension of the authorization of programs and authorities in the farm bill until September 30.
This unexpected defeat on the procedural vote poses a significant challenge for newly appointed Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), who had crafted the continuing resolution that passed the House just the day before. Johnson has been actively working to advance the appropriations process since taking office last month.
Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, pointed out that the opposition stemmed from concerns about the continuing resolution, the decision to consider an Iran bill under a closed rule, and the Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill. This development within the Republican party highlights the internal struggles faced by the GOP as they navigate complex funding issues and policy decisions in Congress.