House fails to pass short-term spending bill that would keep government open through Oct. 31

"Every member will have to go on record on where they stand," the speaker said.

ByLauren Peller, Benjamin Siegel, and Alexandra Hutzler ABCNews logo
Friday, September 29, 2023
House fails to pass short-term spending bill with 21 GOP holdouts
A large group of 21 House conservatives blocked the bill, a defeat for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and GOP leaders.

The House failed to advance its short-term measure to fund the government just one day before funding is set to run out. The final vote was 232-198.

A large group of 21 House conservatives blocked the bill, a defeat for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and GOP leaders.

This GOP bill funds the government until October 31, 2023. It Includes border provisions from the GOP's border security bill (H.R.2), establishes a debt commission and imposes roughly 30 percent cuts from government programs besides the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense and Veteran Affairs.

House Republicans will huddle together for a conference meeting later this afternoon to find a path forward.

Congress must pass a spending bill by Saturday night or the government will shut down.

MORE: Fewer controllers, potential flight disruptions: What a government shutdown means for air travel

Earlier in the day, a procedural vote to start debate on the bill advanced 218-210, prompting Republican applause in the chamber.

McCarthy, earlier Friday, tried to make the case for the bill by playing up the border security provisions being added to the stopgap measure.

"Every member will have to go on record on where they stand," McCarthy said at a press conference. "Are they willing to secure the border or do they side with President Biden on an open border And vote against a measure to keep government open?"

The border provisions were from Republicans' major legislation passed earlier this year, such as a restart of border wall construction and tougher penalties for visa overstays.

The proposal also included keeping government spending to a lower level while maintaining Veterans Affairs and military spending, which would result in dramatic cuts to social spending programs and other areas across the government.

But it's still not likely to be enough to appease Republican hard-liners, who've previously threatened to oust McCarthy as speaker over the spending battle. ABC News counts nearly 10 Republicans who will not vote for a continuing resolution.

Asked about hard-liner opposition, McCarthy said: "We'll see. I can't understand why someone would side with President Biden and keeping the border open. We'll see when the vote comes. If those individuals vote that way, you should ask them that question."

Gaetz, who has been leading the charge against McCarthy, in brief floor remarks Friday morning criticized the short-term measure as one that "weakens the Republican position on strong border policies."

"I will be voting against this continuing resolution," Gaetz said.

Even if the House measure were to pass, it is out of step with the Senate's bipartisan 45-day stopgap proposal, meaning that passage is no guarantee to keep the government from running out of money over the weekend.

The White House Office of Management and Budget released a statement opposing the House's short-term measure. The office said if the bill came to his desk, President Joe Biden will veto it.

"In a blatant violation of the funding agreement the speaker and the President reached just a few months ago, the bill endangers the vital programs Americans rely on by making reckless cuts to programs, regardless of the consequences for critical services from education to food safety to law enforcement to housing to public health," the statement read.

"The Administration urges House Republicans to follow the Senate's lead and engage in a bipartisan appropriations process that funds the Federal Government in a responsible manner, consistent with the bipartisan agreement earlier this year."