McCarthy’s challenge: Avert a government shutdown and appease his hard-right faction

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ROAD TO SHUTDOWN: The House reconvenes today after a long summer recess, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has his work cut out for him. McCarthy wants to pass a stopgap continuing resolution, or “CR,” to keep the government funded into November while he tries to reconcile the demands of the raucous hard-right wing of his party.

Without passage of the CR, the federal government would have to shut down Sept. 30, 18 days from now, of which only 11 are working days. Members of the House Freedom Caucus are demanding a vote on impeaching President Joe Biden, an end to so-called woke Pentagon policies, and no more money for Ukraine.

This crisis was supposed to have been averted under the debt ceiling deal that McCarthy brokered with Biden earlier this year, but the hardliners are threatening to block an afternoon procedural vote on the defense appropriations bill until they get a guarantee that all 12 appropriations bills will include cuts below the levels agreed upon by Biden and McCarthy.

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