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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy cautioned members of his caucus against failing to coalesce behind a government spending bill on Sunday, warning about the impact a government shutdown could have for the party.
“I've been through shutdowns, and I've never seen somebody win a shutdown. Because when you shut down, you give all your power to the administration,” McCarthy said Sunday during an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” with host Maria Bartiromo.
McCarthy is facing concurrent challenges as he attempts to placate his right flank while holding onto support from mainstream Republicans in the House. The Republican leader seemingly lacks the votes to pass a stopgap bill to keep the government open past Sept. 30. And despite attempts to reel in support from hardliners by opening an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, some conservatives are still threatening to force a vote stripping him of the speakership.
The only way to cut spending, as members of his party hope to do, is to pass the bills that would allow the government to keep running, McCarthy said.
“These are Republican bills. These are the most conservative bills going forward,” McCarthy said. “But remember, you don't get it all your own way,” he added, noting that any bill that makes it through the House must be able to gain enough support in the Senate to be enacted.
While McCarthy attempts to rally his caucus to prevent a shutdown, some Republican presidential candidates are adding fuel to the fire. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week spoke with leaders of the group of Republicans pushing McCarthy to embrace a shutdown, offering support to conservative Reps. Chip Roy of Texas, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Bob Good of Virginia during a nearly 30 minute phone call. On Sunday, former Vice President Mike Pence called on conservatives in the House to "stand firm."
"I think House conservatives are the last line of defense for taxpayers in Washington D.C., and I strongly support their effort," Pence said during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union."