Biden warns MAGA Republicans will try to thwart the next funding deal

Rebecca Noble
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President Joe Biden has warned that conservative rebels "will be back again" to try thwart the next funding deal after Congress voted to pass a stopgap bill to keep the government funded, avoiding a shutdown with just hours until the deadline.

“The last few days and weeks extreme MAGA Republicans tried to walk away from that deal,” Biden said Sunday at a news conference at the White House. “Voting for deep, lasting spending cuts from 30 to 80% — that would have been devastating for millions of Americans.

“It failed again, it failed again, and we stopped it,” he added. “But I’m under no illusions that they’ll be back again.”

Asked by a reporter whether he trusts House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to uphold his word about an agreement, Biden said: “We just made one about Ukraine. So we’ll find out.”

“I fully expect the speaker to keep his commitment to secure the passage and support needed to help Ukraine as they defend themselves against aggression and brutality," he said.

After his remarks, a spokesperson for McCarthy said in a statement: “Speaker McCarthy has been clear and consistent: we have an obligation to fix the crisis at the border and to ensure any request for further aid to Ukraine is matched with a sound strategy and accountability. The House will continue to discuss these challenges in the weeks to come.”

Congress passed a short-term bill to keep the government open Saturday night. The legislation, which keeps the government funded at current levels through Nov. 17 and authorizes additional disaster relief money, allows Congress more time to reach a funding agreement for the full year. However, it left out aid to Ukraine after McCarthy removed the provision from the bipartisan Senate bill, saying it should be considered separately later.

Before the bill passed, McCarthy announced he would drop Republicans’ demands for spending cuts and policy provisions about immigration to clear the way for a quick House vote on a “clean” stopgap bill.

A group of 21 conservative rebels, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., voted against Republicans’ 30-day funding bill to keep the government open Friday. The rebels demanded the House pass all 12 appropriations bills with significant spending cuts before it holds negotiations on funding with the Democratic-controlled Senate.

McCarthy said Saturday he had no choice but to leave out Republicans’ demands after conservative rebels tanked his funding bill.

In addition to Gaetz, the Republicans who voted against McCarthy’s short-term funding bill included Reps. Andy Biggs, Eli Crane and Paul Gosar of Arizona; Lauren Boebert and Ken Buck, both of Colorado; Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia; Tim Burchett and Andy Ogles, both of Tennessee; Alex Mooney, who is running for the Senate in West Virginia; Matt Rosendale, who is running for the Senate in Montana; and Nancy Mace, who represents a swing district in South Carolina. All of them also voted against the continuing resolution that passed Saturday night.

Gaetz said Sunday that he plans to file a motion this week to oust McCarthy as speaker for working with Democrats to pass the stopgap measure.

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