McCarthy faces revolt from far-right after avoiding shutdown – PBS NewsHour

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The government is open after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy side-stepped the hard-right flank of his party and cut a temporary funding deal with Democrats this weekend. But this week, he may need to broker another cross-aisle bargain to keep his job. Congressional Correspondent Lisa Desjardins reports from Capitol Hill.
Amna Nawaz:
The government is open today after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy sidestepped the hard-right flank of his party and pushed through a temporary spending bill with the help of Democrats.
But, this week, he may need to broker another cross-aisle bargain to keep his job.
Congressional correspondent Lisa Desjardins is on Capitol Hill to help make sense of it all.
Lisa, it is good to see you.
I’m going to ask you two questions I have been asking a lot these past few weeks. Help us understand, what just happened and what does it mean?
Lisa Desjardins:
Even by the tornadic standards of this modern Congress, Amna, this was a wild weekend. Let’s explain exactly how we got to this no shutdown result. First of all, as our viewers may remember from last week, Kevin McCarthy had the major choice to make. He had to choose between either a shutdown, essentially, or between working with Democrats in order to avoid that shutdown.
And, in the end, he did work with Democrats, and they passed that 45-day funding bill easily after Republicans could not agree on a solution themselves. That bill would include $16 billion in disaster relief, but, importantly, no money for Ukraine, not at this point. That would have slowed things down too much, so they dropped it.
In the end, 90 House Republicans, however, did vote against it. Essentially, those 90 were willing to have a shutdown. But, in the end, across the country right now, Amna, relief, from farmers whose payments and loans can keep going to some who are using WIC, that Women, Infant and Children program.
Here’s an example. For example, in Ohio, the northwest corner of Ohio in Williams County, they posted this today, a program called Donuts and Diapers. That’s something to get more people enrolled in WIC. It may not have been able to happen if there had been a shutdown because there may not have been new enrollments in that.
Now, as I say, it was a wild weekend. Among the oddities of it was a member of Congress, a Democrat, pulling a fire alarm. Jamaal Bowman of New York says it was an accident, but that will be under investigation.
Meanwhile, the Ukraine money is something we will watch very closely. Congress just has 45 days. And Ukraine says it may run out of money in the pipeline in that time. It is a heavy task to try and figure out from both sides of Congress what to do. Could we be back here again in 45 days, Amna?
Yes, very much so.
Amna Nawaz:
So, shutdown averted for now, Lisa, but what about Speaker McCarthy?
This is still a precarious moment for him. Do we expect someone to try to oust him from his speakership?
Lisa Desjardins:
Yes, Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida says he will, in fact, try and oust him this week. We don’t know when. It could be as soon as tonight.
And not only that. If that fails, Gaetz says, he will try again and again. The motion to vacate is something that we’re going to talk about more in days ahead. But Speaker Kevin McCarthy, I want to say, is saying, bring it on. He is daring Congressman Gaetz to have enough votes.
The question will be Democrats. The margins are so close here, Amna, that, if Democrats want to, they could really cause some problems on the House floor and have no speaker. Or do they vote present and allow Kevin McCarthy to keep his job? We will watch.
Amna Nawaz:
Lisa Desjardins reporting from Capitol Hill.
Lisa, thank you. Good to see you.
Lisa Desjardins:
You too.
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Lisa Desjardins is a correspondent for PBS NewsHour, where she covers news from the U.S. Capitol while also traveling across the country to report on how decisions in Washington affect people where they live and work.

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