Speaker of the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), has received unexpected praise from some Democrats after a stopgap funding bill to avoid a shutdown of the U.S. government was successfully passed.

After weeks of uncertainty, 209 Democrats joined 126 Republicans in support of the measure and the bill cleared the House in a 335–91 vote on Sept. 30. The bill was approved by the Senate 88–9.

President Joe Biden then signed it into law roughly three hours before the midnight deadline.

Following Mr. McCarthy’s successful introduction of the bill, Rep. Eric Swalwell, (R-Calif.) took to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, to praise the move in a Sept. 30 post.

He also took the opportunity to take a swipe at Republicans Andy Biggs and Matt Gaetz, representatives of Arizona and Florida, respectively.

Reps. Biggs and Gaetz have been vocal critics of Mr. McCarthy in the aftermath of the bill passing, with calls to remove him from his position as Speaker of the House.

“I really admire Speaker McCarthy for putting clowns like Biggs and Gaetz in an absolute box. They’ll never have the courage to try and remove him. McCarthy has really played them,” Mr. Swalwell said.

Fellow Democrat Rep. Daniel Goldman (NY) praised Mr. McCarthy as well, responding to the post by Mr. Swalwell on X with his own words of affirmation for the Speaker of the House.

Mr. Goldman also referenced Mr. Gaetz and stated his belief that the Florida representative wouldn’t be able to follow through on his threats to have Mr. McCarthy removed from his role.

“I agree. I didn’t think Speaker McCarthy had the backbone to stand up to the MAGA extremists, but he did today,” Mr. Goldman said.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) said he was relieved that the government wouldn’t be shutting down, but was also critical that Mr. McCarthy hadn’t introduced the bill sooner.

In a Sept. 30 statement shared to X, Mr. Beyer said he was “relieved that Mr. McCarthy folded and finally allowed a bipartisan vote at the eleventh hour on legislation to stop Republicans’ rush to a disastrous shutdown.”
“Had he taken this step sooner, it would have spared millions of Americans unnecessary fear and uncertainty,” Mr. Beyer added.

Mr. Beyer also foreshadowed that the current bill, which only provides funding until Nov. 17, is “not a permanent solution” but rather only a “short reprieve.”

In the wake of the bill passing, Mr. Gaetz has announced plans to remove Mr. McCarthy with a motion to be filed sometime this week. He posted in X Sunday night, “I am trying to change Washington.”

In an Oct. 1 interview on CNN’s “State of the Union”, Mr. Gaetz claimed Mr. McCarthy had broken his agreement with conservatives and worked with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown.

He further stated that in his view, Republicans need to move on with trustworthy leadership.

Mr. Gaetz also posted on X, accusing Mr. McCarthy of deceit over an alleged side deal with the Democrats to provide more funding for Ukraine. He alleges the House Republicans were unaware of the deal until after the stopgap funding bill had passed.

In an interview on Oct. 1 on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Mr. McCarthy said that the threat of being ousted from his position by Mr. Gaetz was nothing new. “He tried to do that the moment I ran for office,” Mr. McCarthy said.

He further stated that he is confident he will hold onto his job, and even welcomed the motion from Mr. Gaetz to have him removed, saying, “Bring it on. Let’s get over with it.”

Meanwhile, House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) told reporters on Saturday shortly after the bill’s passage that House Democrats “haven’t had a discussion about any hypothetical motion to vacate,” regarding Mr. McCarthy’s leadership.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” he said.

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