Growing divisions within the GOP?
On September 20, Florida's most outspoken and often-controversial Republican - Congressman Matt Gaetz - shared his opinion on the outlook for a government shutdown at the end of September. In his assessment, it would appear that things are looking pretty bleak.
It is no surprise that Gaetz views the ultimate failure of House Republicans to side-step a shutdown so far, as being down the the California Republican - Kevin McCarthy - and he confirmed that opinion once again, after suggesting that the shutdown is now unavoidable.
Republicans divided over continuing resolution
On the same day, Gaetz took to Twitter to correct another senior Republican - Representative Mike Collins of Georgia - who had suggested to CNN that a majority of House Republicans are now in favor of voting for a continuing resolution that would effectively buy congress more time to agree a new funding bill.
According to Gaetz:
"Continuing resolutions are like lays potato chips - you can’t have just one. Another continuing resolution would follow this one, for sure. The best way to stop governing by continuing resolution is to stop governing by continuing resolution."
Gaetz had previously criticized his fellow Republican from Florida - Byron Donalds - who had proposed the continuing resolution, stating that the measure was ineffective in solving the stand-off.
Gaetz also expressed concerns that the continuing resolution would just perpetuate things that he sees as ongoing issues including the so-called 'weaponization' of the justice system, neglect of the southern border and continued funding for Ukraine in their war with Russia.
The threat of a shutdown remains
As House Republicans fight amongst themselves to agree a new funding bill, the prospect of a government shutdown at the end of September is alarming for those who want a new spending bill to be approved and feel that the United States can't afford for such disruption to occur.
In the recent ongoing feud between Matt Gaetz and Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman, it was highlighted that Democrats feel Republicans should simply be doing their job and passing the bill (or at least a modifided version of it). As Fetterman put it in a very pointed Tweet:
"Government shutdown in t-minus 16 days. Instead of crying about how I dress, how about you ... do your job, bud?"
Even in matters where the more-vocal of Republicans like Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor-Greene of Georgia find themselves agreeing (as was the case recently as both pushed for an impeachment enquiry into President Joe Biden), they couldn't agree which of them could legitimately claim credit for the idea.
MTG may yet take issue with the comments made by Mike Collins, given that both represent the state of Georgia.
She too expressed that she won't endorse the continuing resolution, and has continued to threaten to disrupt the progress of any funding bill until it addresses some of her pet projects.
The threat of a government shutdown remains very real, and the more time that Republicans hold it up, it seems like a compromise will have to be reached. Whether that's a full funding bill or a continuing resolution to buy more time, remains to be seen.
Do you think that Florida's Matt Gaetz should be more open to buying more time, rather than sticking to his guns and effectively trying to ensure a government shutdown occurs? Let me know our thoughts in the comments section below.