The House on Friday is poised to vote on a measure to prevent a government shutdown, but opposition from within the GOP puts its passage at risk.
The conservative pushback also undercuts Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as he seeks to fund the government and unite his party after weeks of turmoil.
At least eight House Republicans are against or are leaning against the short-term funding stopgap.
With Democrats expected to universally oppose it, Republicans can afford to lose only four votes, assuming full attendance.
GOP Reps. Tim Burchett (Tenn.), Eli Crane (Ariz.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Cory Mills (Fla.), Andy Ogles (Tenn.) and Matt Rosendale (Mont.) have said they are against any kind of short-term stopgap bill, insisting that Congress focus instead on passing regular appropriations bills.
Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-Texas) also told The Hill he plans to vote against the legislation, and Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) as of Thursday was undecided but leaning no.
Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) has been messaging against any kind of continuing resolution (CR). She said last week that she would fly back from D.C. despite recently having a baby to vote against a similar stopgap — but Gaetz said late Thursday that won’t be necessary.
“We got all the votes we need to bring the CR down,” Gaetz said.
The opponents of the measure voted Friday to advance it past a procedural hurdle, but Gaetz said he voted in favor of the rule “so I can vote against this bad CR,” and that the bill “does not have the votes to pass.”
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) also told reporters on early Friday that he intends to vote against his party’s short-term funding plan.
“Everybody’s saying there’s something urgent, why would we pass a bill that has features in it that everybody knows that’s not gonna be taken up?” he said. “How does that get us through an urgency?”
Several other members have not explicitly said they are against the legislation, but could also oppose it given their opposition to a similar proposal last week.
The opposition comes despite looming peril. Government funding is set to expire Saturday night, and discord in the House GOP and the gulf between the House and the Senate — which is also yet to pass any sort of short-term funding patch — is all but assuring a government shutdown when the clock strikes midnight to end Saturday.
Friday’s House GOP stopgap bill would extend government funding until Oct. 31 with deep spending cuts for the duration, along with a swath of border policy changes and the creation of a commission to examine the national debt.
McCarthy is hoping that passing a House GOP funding bill would set up his conference to negotiate border policy concessions on a compromise bill with the Senate.
Instead, Friday’s vote could continue a long headache for McCarthy and GOP leaders, who were forced to pull a previous version of the stopgap last week due to the opposition.
The conference then worked out a plan to adjust that stopgap as well as advance four full-year appropriations bills after striking a deal for more cuts across other bills, which hard-line conservatives long demanded.
Three of those four appropriations bills passed the House late Thursday night — a move that McCarthy allies hoped would build goodwill and sway the holdouts on the stopgap. An agriculture appropriations bill failed on the floor due to GOP opposition.
“We’ve moved a significant amount of appropriations across the finish line. I hope that will move a few of our colleagues into looking at a CR that cuts spending and secures the border. We’re certainly gonna be trying for that,” said Rep. Erin Houchin (R-Ind.), a member of the House Rules Committee.
But members are not rushing to support the stopgap after that progress. On Thursday, 27 members of the House Freedom Caucus sent McCarthy a letter asking for the plan for advancing the rest of the full-year funding measures.
“No Member of Congress can or should be expected to consider supporting a stop-gap funding measure without answers to these reasonable questions,” said the letter, led by House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry (R-Pa.).
McCarthy has sought to frame the holdouts as supporting President Biden’s border policies.
“If they want to stand with the president by keeping the border open, I think that’d be a wrong position,” McCarthy said of the holdouts earlier this week.
Two hard-line conservative members who opposed the stopgap last week, however, changed positions to support it now after House GOP adjustments and work on appropriations bills: Reps. Bob Good (R-Va.) and Ralph Norman (R-S.C.).
For Norman, the threat of the House getting jammed with a Senate bill, as well as moderate Republicans in the House working with Democrats to force bipartisan compromise through a discharge petition, influenced his change in position.
“The discharge petition, I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want to lock this country down to the excessive spending that the Senate has. So, it’s the lesser of two evils,” Norman said Thursday.
Good said in a statement that his support is “conditional on the Speaker simultaneously leading the Republican conference towards passing all remaining appropriations bills with $64 billion in cuts from the so-called Fiscal Responsibility Act spending caps, during the stopgap period.”
Mychael Schnell contributed.