Rep. Spartz calls McCarthy ‘weak speaker’ amid spending fight
(NewsNation) — A group of Republicans brokered a deal among themselves that would avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month, but some House GOP members are already saying they can’t support it, including Rep. Victoria Spartz.
The Indiana Republican suggested the deal could cost House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., his job, calling him a “weak speaker” in a statement Monday announcing her opposition to the agreement to avert a government shutdown.
“At some point you have to keep your promises, and if you’re not willing to fight for the people, maybe we have to have someone else trying to fight,” Spartz said Monday on “The Hill on NewsNation.”
The deal announced Sunday night would avoid a looming Oct. 1 shutdown by funding the government through Oct. 31, keeping Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs at current levels while cutting all discretionary spending by 8%. It would also include the House GOP’s H.R. 2 border crackdown bill — minus its provisions about requiring E-Verify.
The bill received an icy reception from a flank of the Republican Party who contend it doesn’t go far enough to curb government spending. At least 12 GOP lawmakers have come out against the legislation or are leaning against it.
“I think my party is failing the people,” Spartz said. “With this leadership, I don’t think we can win unless we make some changes.”
In response to her statement, McCarthy criticized Spartz’s decision not to seek reelection next year.
“One thing I learned in life anybody who criticizes you has never worked harder than you. If Victoria is concerned about fighting stronger I wish she would run again and not quit,” he told CNN’s Manu Raju. “I mean, I’m not quitting. I’m going to continue work for the American public.”
Even if the stopgap bill gets through the House, it’s unlikely to pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate as-is.
Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle said the GOP infighting adds to the “chaos” on Capitol Hill. He called on McCarthy to put forth a bill that follows a bipartisan agreement brokered this summer in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.
“He keeps trying to bend over backwards to pacify extremists who are always going to be a ‘no’ anyway,” he said on “The Hill.” “Work with Democrats, stick to our bipartisan deal.”
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries on Sunday likened the GOP infighting to a “civil war” within the party that is hurting the American people.
Boyle agrees with the characterization.
“It is absolutely the case that we see House Republicans turning on themselves,” Boyle said. “It’s such a contrast to what happened two years when House Democrats had the same exact numerical majority, and you saw the most ambitious pieces of legislation passed since 1965.”
The Hill contributed to this report.