On Sunday, Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) indicated that he might back an initiative to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) if a resolution to avert a government shutdown, which garners Democratic support, is passed.
“I’d certainly give that serious thought,” said Burchett during an interview with Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Burchett referenced a previous agreement between President Biden and McCarthy to temporarily lift the country’s debt limit and set expenditure limits for the forthcoming year. “What about our commitment to the American people to act fiscally responsibly?” he remarked.
His statement is set against a backdrop where he, along with a faction of staunch conservative Republicans, advocates for more substantial fiscal cutbacks. This group remains unwilling to back any interim measures, like a continuing resolution (CR), aimed at preventing a government closure after the end of this week.
Various suggestions have been made to avoid a potential shutdown, some of which necessitate Democratic backing. The path to such a consensus has been made complex as McCarthy seems to be estranging his Democratic peers to appease the more conservative segment of his party.
The probability of a cross-party agreement coming up for consideration and its potential success is still uncertain.
Burchett expressed that McCarthy should have convened a session over the weekend to deliberate on the funding agreement.
“Our nation’s finances are on a precarious trajectory. The public needs to be aware that using complex jargon like ‘CRs’ and ‘omnibus’ only muddies the waters,” Burchett stated. “The truth is out there. We have to address this. We should be actively discussing this in Washington. Instead, we’ve been told to leave.”
After John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, resigned as Speaker in October 2015 due to challenges from the Freedom Caucus, McCarthy made his initial bid for the speakership. The Freedom Caucus had even considered a motion to remove Boehner from office forcibly.
Just a few hours before he was expected to be nominated by Republicans to fill the role, McCarthy unexpectedly withdrew his name from contention.
In January 2023, following several days of inconclusive House voting and some eleventh-hour developments, Kevin McCarthy finally clinched the Speaker’s position on the 15th vote, securing 216 votes.