In a closed-door meeting, tensions rose among House Republicans as the party failed to unite around a plan to prevent a government shutdown. Representative Matt Gaetz confronted Speaker Kevin McCarthy about allegations that conservative influencers were paid to criticize Gaetz on social media. McCarthy denied the accusation and dismissed Gaetz’s concerns, which only heightened their existing tense relationship. Members of the House expressed frustration with Gaetz after the heated exchange. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are working on a bipartisan stopgap bill to avert a shutdown, but House Republicans have shown resistance, leaving the two chambers at an impasse.
As the deadline for government funding approaches, House Republicans are holding late-night votes on separate spending bills. However, it is unclear if these bills have enough support to pass, and some are expected to fail. Conservatives in the House oppose a stopgap measure and argue for full-year appropriations bills instead. House GOP leadership hopes that progress on the full-year funding bills will convince the holdouts that more time is needed to complete the appropriations process. However, if the bills fail, GOP leaders may use it as an argument for a short-term funding extension. The House is scheduled to vote on a measure on Friday, even though McCarthy does not currently have enough votes for it to pass. In the Senate, lawmakers are working on a bipartisan stopgap bill that includes aid to Ukraine and disaster relief. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that senators should be prepared for a procedural vote on Saturday morning if an agreement for a faster process cannot be reached. However, Republican Senator Rand Paul plans to slow down the consideration of the spending bill due to his objections to aid for Ukraine. The Senate took a procedural vote to advance the stopgap bill, but the timing for the final passage vote remains uncertain. A small group of Senate negotiators is working on amendments related to border security for the short-term spending bill.