House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that Republican leadership will send House lawmakers home this weekend, calling Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) bluff on a potential government shutdown.
“We’ve passed our CR [Continuing Resolution],” McCarthy said after a House leadership meeting.
The House passed a CR on Thursday to continue funding the government until February 16; the CR also funds the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years while also delaying several Obamacare taxes, such as the medical device tax, the “Cadillac” tax, and the Health Insurance Tax (HIT).
Schumer and Senate Democrats oppose the House-passed short-term spending bill because they want a bill that will grant amnesty to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) illegal aliens.
“Sen. Schumer needs to decide if he wants a shutdown,” McCarthy declared.
Speaker Paul Ryan released a statement ahead of the Senate spending bill vote, arguing that Senate Democrats remain the sole obstacle to funding the government. Ryan argued:
Make no mistake about it: Senate Democrats are the only ones standing in the way of a fully funded government and a reauthorized health insurance program for children. This is no time to play politics and force a shutdown. The House has done its job. And now Democrats’ dangerous opposition jeopardizes funding for our military and puts our national security at risk. It uses our men and women in uniform as political bargaining chips. This is unacceptable. This is needless. This is wrong. I urge Senator Schumer and the Senate Democrats to reconsider their reckless intent to shut down the government.
McCarthy added that House Republican leadership would not support an even shorter-term spending bill that would fund the government for four or five days.
“We’ve passed a short-term CR,” the majority leader argued.