US averts government shutdown

By Shania Shelton, Tori B. Powell, Kaanita Iyer, Adrienne Vogt and Matt Meyer, CNN

Updated 12:12 AM ET, Sun October 1, 2023
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2:58 p.m. ET, September 30, 2023

BREAKING: House passes spending bill to avert government shutdown. The bill is now headed to the Senate

From CNN's Gregory Clary

The House floor shortly after they passed a 45-day short term spending resolution.
The House floor shortly after they passed a 45-day short term spending resolution. House TV

In a key step to avoid a government shutdown, the House passed a 45-day short term spending resolution, which includes natural disaster aid but not additional funding for Ukraine or border security. The final vote tally was 335-91.

The only Democrat to vote against was Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois.

The bill needed two-thirds of House members voting to support it, since it was brought up through an expedited process. The bill now heads to the Senate.

2:41 p.m. ET, September 30, 2023

Democrats expected to overwhelmingly support short-term spending bill

From CNN’s Annie Grayer

As House Democrats emerged from a closed door meeting before the vote, many told CNN they will support the GOP's short-term spending bill.

"Extreme MAGA Republicans have lost, the American people have won," Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries said.

"I think you're going to see a lot of 'yes' votes," Rep. Annie Kuster said.

“We read it, and we won, so we are going to vote yes,” Rep. Jim McGovern said.

Democrats were heard cheering during the meeting. 

2:51 p.m. ET, September 30, 2023

NOW: The House is voting on the GOP's short-term spending bill to avert a shutdown

From CNN's Annie Grayer

Voting has begun in the House on a stopgap measure to avert a shutdown and fund the federal government for 45 days.

The bill needs two-thirds majority of the chamber to pass. The vote comes just hours before a midnight deadline to avoid a shutdown.

The last-minute GOP push to avoid the US government from lapsing in funding came together rapidly this morning, with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy emerging from meetings to announce a vote would be held on a 45-day stopgap measure.

2:10 p.m. ET, September 30, 2023

Rep. Matt Gaetz continues attacks on House speaker: "No one trusts Kevin McCarthy"

From CNN’s Lauren Koenig and Annie Grayer

Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks to the press outside the Capitol on September 29.
Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks to the press outside the Capitol on September 29. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida continued to slam House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s leadership Saturday after the speaker said he was being the “adult in the room” by bringing forward a stopgap bill to avert a government shutdown.

“There’s nothing about delaying this process that is being the adult in the room,” Gaetz said. “We are at this point because Kevin McCarthy made multiple contradictory promises about the budget topline to different groups of people.”
“He made one promise to House conservatives in January in order to secure the position, he made another promise to President Biden, he made a third promise all together to House appropriators,” he told reporters, adding, “the one thing everyone seems to have in common is that no one trusts Kevin McCarthy.”

When asked if McCarthy’s speakership is on the line, Gaetz said, “I would say it’s on some tenuous ground.” 

“Right now our plan is to continue to build support for our single-subject spending bills. This 45-day CR does not liberate us from our nation’s financial challenges,” he added, using an abbreviation for "continuing resolution," which is the term used for the stopgap measure.

Gaetz told reporters that “whether or not McCarthy faces a motion to vacate is entirely within his control,” arguing the speaker needs to uphold his promise to house conservatives and focus on single subject spending bills.

What McCarthy is saying: The speaker is digging in and daring his right flank to bring a vote to oust him for using a strategy that relies on Democratic votes

When asked if he is worried about his job, McCarthy told CNN, "Not at all."

"Look, if someone wants to try to remove me because I stood for the American public, for the troops to make sure they got paid ... to make sure the border agents got paid while we continue to do our work, I welcome that vote," McCarthy said.

In response to another question from CNN about if he is OK working with Democrats to keep the government open, McCarthy said: "What is wrong with Americans working together? What is wrong with a Republican and Democrat putting America first? I think that's important."

2:18 p.m. ET, September 30, 2023

House Democratic appropriators are circulating a memo raising issues with the GOP proposal

From CNN’s Lauren Fox

House appropriators are circulating a memo raising issues with the short-term funding bill that Speaker Kevin McCarthy is planning to bring to the floor, per a copy obtained by CNN.

Among the issues they point to: the lack of money for Ukraine and the fact that it doesn’t include a provision to block a cost-of-living-adjustment pay raise for lawmakers from going into effect, as the Senate’s stopgap bill does.

Rep. Patrick McHenry, the House financial services chairman, said Saturday that the House GOP is open to make changes on the pay-raise language in their bill. 

"That is a technical issue. That is a calendar year issue. Member pay is dictated by the calendar year, not the fiscal year," he noted. 

Democrats are still weighing how they will proceed and they are stalling for more time. The memo doesn’t recommend how Democrats should vote.

1:37 p.m. ET, September 30, 2023

Democrats are still buying time to review the GOP's proposal after motion to adjourn fails

From CNN’s Haley Talbot

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries speaks on the House floor on Saturday, September 30.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries speaks on the House floor on Saturday, September 30. House TV

The House has resumed debate on the stopgap spending measure aimed at preventing a government shutdown, which is called a continuing resolution, after a Democratic motion to adjourn failed.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries is currently using his unlimited amount of time, known as “magic minutes," to address the chamber. He demanded Republicans keep their word on their agreement with President Joe Biden on spending levels.

Democrats began chanting “keep your word,” and loudly applauded Jeffries throughout. 

"I rise today to have a conversation with the American people. So strap in, because this may take a little while," he said at the beginning of his remarks.

Key context: The motion to adjourn had been aimed at giving Democrats more time to read the last-minute GOP proposal.

The plan came together very quickly this morning, and Democratic lawmakers have said they don't trust the Republicans not to slip something they oppose into the bill, and that they won't vote on it "blindly."

1:32 p.m. ET, September 30, 2023

The Senate is delaying a procedural vote while they figure out what is happening in the House

From CNN's Morgan Rimmer

The Senate is using a procedural tactic called a "live quorum call," which requires all of the senators to physically go to the floor, to delay their procedural vote on their own version of a stopgap spending bill. 

Remember: The Senate has put together its own bipartisan proposal to avert a shutdown — but House Republicans have thrown cold water on that plan, leaving the two chambers at an impasse and the attention on the House GOP.

Key senator comments on House bill: Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has vowed all week to slow the voting process beyond the midnight shutdown deadline if a stopgap bill includes funding for the war in Ukraine.

He told CNN on Saturday that he will not slow down the Senate's consideration of the House GOP's 45-day spending bill — which, crucially, does not include Ukraine funding — if it passes the House and the Senate takes it up.

This gives lawmakers a path to consider the spending bill very quickly in the Senate, possibly avoiding a shutdown (or at least shortening it), as long as the bill passes the House and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer brings it to the Senate floor.

1:17 p.m. ET, September 30, 2023

Key Democrat says it's a "huge problem" that GOP proposal lacks Ukraine funding

From CNN’s Annie Grayer

House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar speaks during a press conference on September 29.
House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar speaks during a press conference on September 29. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar says “it’s a huge problem” that the short-term bill proposed by Republicans to avert a government shutdown does not include funding for Ukraine.

House Democrats are still combing over the stopgap bill to figure out if they support it, Aguilar said.

"(House Speaker) Kevin McCarthy and the Republican conference have proven time and time again that they don't care about the freedom of the Ukrainian people, and they turn their backs on them time and time again," Aguilar said. "And his anti-Ukraine, pro-Putin caucus is pretty strong."

Aguilar wouldn’t say how he would vote on the bill, and emphasized he is waiting until Democrats have done a full analysis of the text. 

“We're close to scrubbing it (reading through the whole text). We will give that analysis to the Democratic members as soon as we have the opportunity to do so,” Aguilar said.

12:53 p.m. ET, September 30, 2023

Kevin McCarthy's speakership is on the line. He says he's willing to risk the job to avert a shutdown

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy speaks with members of the media following a meeting of the Republican House caucus on September 30, 2023 in Washington, DC.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy speaks with members of the media following a meeting of the Republican House caucus on September 30, 2023 in Washington, DC. Nathan Howard/Getty Images

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is facing threats of removal from the speakership from hardline conservatives in his party — and he could be further imperiled by his last-minute effort to pass a stopgap spending bill today and avert a government shutdown.

McCarthy emerged from a fast-evolving morning of meetings to say the House will vote on a 45-day short-term spending bill as soon as possible. To do so, Republicans are expected to bring the bill under a suspension of the rules, meaning a sizable number of Democrats will be needed to pass it.

Asked if he is concerned that a member, including Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, could move to oust him over this bill, McCarthy replied, “If I have to risk my job for standing up for the American public, I will do that.”

Gaetz has been threatening McCarthy’s speakership almost daily and has warned him against working with Democrats on a funding measure. Gaetz has said House Republicans who work with Democrats to avoid a shutdown would be signing their own “political death warrant.”

Gaetz has been vocal in floating the possibility of using a motion to vacate against McCarthy over his handling of shutdown negotiations – a move that can trigger a House floor vote to oust the speaker.

CNN's Lauren Fox, Melanie Zanona, Annie Grayer and Manu Raju contributed reporting to this post.