Congress averts shutdown and McCarthy faces speakership fight

By Maureen Chowdhury and Matt Meyer, CNN

Updated 6:01 PM ET, Sun October 1, 2023
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5:56 p.m. ET, October 1, 2023

Speaker McCarthy responds to Gaetz's efforts to remove him: "Bring it on"

From CNN's Sam Fossum

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Matt Gaetz.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Matt Gaetz. AP/Getty Images

Rep. Kevin McCarthy urged Rep. Matt Gaetz to “bring it on” after the Florida congressman announced his plans to bring a motion to oust the House speaker this week

“That’s nothing new,” McCarthy said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

"I’ll survive," he continued. "You know this is personal with Matt. Matt voted against the most conservative ability to protect our border, secure our border. He’s more interested in securing TV interviews than doing something."

So be it — bring it on. Let’s get over with it and let’s start governing,” McCarthy said.

When asked about Ukraine aid, which is missing from Congress' stopgap bill, McCarthy insinuated that he would want the funding tied to increasing border security.  

“They’re not going to get some package if the border is not secure,” McCarthy said. “I support being able to make sure Ukraine has the weapons that they need. But I firmly support the border first. So we’ve got to find a way that we can do this together.”

5:21 p.m. ET, October 1, 2023

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene warns McCarthy against sending Ukraine aid bill to the House floor

From CNN's Melanie Zanona

After the stopgap bill to avert a government shutdown omitted Ukraine aid due to objections from some conservatives, GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene warned House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Sunday not to put a Ukraine bill on the floor. 

“The majority of the majority does not support haphazardly funding war in Ukraine and it was proven this past week when 117 Republicans voted against a stand alone $300 M to Ukraine,” she wrote on the social media platform X. “We elected our Speaker, not the Democrats, and our Speaker should not violate the Hastert Rule.” 

Some context: The vote Greene is referring to is money for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which has been given to the country since 2014 and is different than the supplemental aid package sought by White House

5:24 p.m. ET, October 1, 2023

House minority whip tells Dems to "stay present and united" ahead of looming speakership fight

From CNN's Annie Grayer

Rep. Katherine Clark speaks at a press conference in Washington, DC, on September 30.
Rep. Katherine Clark speaks at a press conference in Washington, DC, on September 30. Anna Rose Layden/Bloomberg/Getty Images

House Democratic Whip Katherine Clark sent a message to Democrats in light of GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz announcing on CNN he will bring a motion to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy this week.

“Stay present and united,” Clark told the caucus, according to a copy of the letter obtained by CNN.

Clark said if a vote to remove McCarthy — known as a motion to vacate — is scheduled, Democratic leadership will hold a caucus-wide meeting for members to discuss their options.

“Public reports indicate that a Republican Member may notice intent to offer a Motion to Vacate as soon as Monday," Clark wrote. "Votes related to the motion could occur at any time, including Monday, within two legislative days of this notice. If this occurs, we will have a Caucus wide discussion on how to address the motion to best meet the needs of the American people. Please ensure that your schedule remains flexible so that you may be present for these important votes should they occur.”
4:56 p.m. ET, October 1, 2023

McCarthy's office won’t say if it gave assurances to White House on Ukraine aid

From CNN's Melanie Zanona

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s office would not say whether the Republican leader gave any assurances to the White House and Democrats on Ukraine aid, which was not included in the funding stopgap bill passed last night.

McCarthy believes any Ukraine funding would need to be paired with border security provisions, his office said in a statement. The speaker has been saying something to that effect for weeks.

“Speaker McCarthy has been clear and consistent: we have an obligation to fix the crisis at the border and to ensure any request for further aid to Ukraine is matched with a sound strategy and accountability,” a McCarthy spokesperson said in a statement to CNN. “The House will continue to discuss these challenges in the weeks to come.”

President Joe Biden suggested today there was a “deal” with McCarthy on Ukraine aid; House Democratic leaders put out a statement yesterday saying they “expect” McCarthy to put a bill on the floor when the House returns. 

2:09 p.m. ET, October 1, 2023

Second Republican signals support for ousting McCarthy

From CNN's Melanie Zanona

Rep. Eli Crane speaks during a joint Homeland Security subcommittee hearing in Washington, DC, on July 18.
Rep. Eli Crane speaks during a joint Homeland Security subcommittee hearing in Washington, DC, on July 18. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images.

Republican Rep. Eli Crane, one of the hardliners who has been critical of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, signaled support for ousting the speaker.

“Lets roll!” Crane posted on social media platform X on Sunday in response to GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz’s post saying he will file a so-called motion to vacate this week.

Crane and Gaetz are so far the only Republicans who have publicly backed the effort, though others are weighing it.

If all Democrats support the motion, Gaetz only needs six Republicans to succeed.

Democrats have not taken an official position, but many in the caucus are skeptical of saving McCarthy — though some may vote present, which would raise the number of votes Gaetz needs.

12:53 p.m. ET, October 1, 2023

Biden says US "will not walk away" from Ukraine and calls on Republicans to support new aid

President Joe Biden delivers remarks from the White House in Washington, DC, on October 1.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks from the White House in Washington, DC, on October 1. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Joe Biden called on Republicans to keep their word about support for Ukraine during remarks from the White House Sunday, after signing a short-term spending bill that avoided a government shutdown but did not include new aid for the country.

"There's no Ukraine funding in this agreement," Biden said. "Despite that, I did not believe we could let millions of Americans go through the pain of a government shutdown."

The president said he would hold Republicans accountable to their previous signals of support for Ukraine.

"But let's be clear. I hope my friends on the other side keep their word about support for Ukraine. They said they were going to support Ukraine in a separate vote," the president said. "We cannot, under any circumstances, allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted," he said.

Biden said he fully expects House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to "keep his commitment to secure the passage and support needed to help Ukraine as they defend themselves against aggression and brutality."

Biden said there is broad bipartisan support for Ukraine's war effort. "Let's vote on it," he said.

"I want to assure our American allies and the American people and the people of Ukraine that you can count on our support. We will not walk away," he said.

Some context: Original drafts of a spending bill to avert the shutdown included aid for Ukraine, but the funds were ultimately removed over concerns the measure could not pass over the objections of some conservatives.

Bipartisan members of Senate leadership released a joint statement Saturday committing to vote on further funding for Ukraine aid "in the coming weeks." Congress will need to negotiate another funding bill by mid-November.

1:30 p.m. ET, October 1, 2023

Biden: "It's time to end governing by crisis"

President Joe Biden speaks from the White House on Sunday, October 1.
President Joe Biden speaks from the White House on Sunday, October 1. Pool

President Joe Biden chastised Republicans and the pattern of "governing by crisis" during remarks from the White House on Sunday about the stopgap bill passed to avert a government shutdown.

"Folks, the truth is we shouldn't be here in the first place. We shouldn't have gotten here in the first place. It's time to end governing by crisis and keep your word when you give it in the Congress," Biden said.

The president referred to negotiations this summer with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy that were held in order to avoid a debt default.

"You keep your word, and I expect the Republican speaker and the Republicans in Congress to honor their word and keep the deal they made months ago when they tried to threaten us with — to almost international bankruptcy by not paying our debts," Biden said.

Speakership fight: Biden refrained from weighing in on whether Democrats should help McCarthy keep the speakership, as conservatives attempt to oust him over his handling of the shutdown negotiations.

“I don't have a vote on that matter. I'll leave that to the leadership in the House,” Biden said.

Biden said he hoped this experience with the Republican conference would be a revealing one for McCarthy.

“I hope this experience for the speaker has been one of a personal revelation,” he said.

CNN's Aileen Graef contributed reporting to this post.

12:37 p.m. ET, October 1, 2023

NOW: Biden speaks on bipartisan stopgap bill to keep government open

President Joe Biden speaks from the White House on Sunday, October 1.
President Joe Biden speaks from the White House on Sunday, October 1. Pool

President Joe Biden is speaking now about the bipartisan bill he signed late last night to temporarily fund the government.

The bill averts a shutdown through November 17. The Senate approved the measure after the House abruptly reversed course earlier in the day and passed a bipartisan bill.