Biden and Lauren Boebert call out McCarthy for taking a long weekend as government shutdown looms

House Republicans have grown so dysfunctional that far-right members of the party appear to be on the same side as President Joe Biden.

On Thursday, both Mr Biden and Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert slammed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California for allowing the House to end its business for the week and lawmakers to set off on long weekends – even as a government shutdown looks increasingly inevitable.

“Last time there was a government shutdown, 800,000 Americans were furloughed or worked without pay. But enjoy your weekend,” Mr Biden wrote on X on Thursday.

In a rare moment of agreement with the president, Ms Boebert also took to X to make a similar comment.

Congress should not be sent home this week without passing any individual appropriations bills that slash spending and show the American people we are making progress and can govern,” she wrote.

“I expect to get this done for the 3rd District and will keep working hard for my voters. Now is absolutely not the time to quit!”

Mr McCarthy was struck by yet another setback on Thursday as a procedural vote to start debate on funding for the military failed, when six members of his own party joined Democrats in voting against it.

The House speaker is being pushed by the far right arm of the GOP to bring 12 appropriations bills up for a vote instead of one omnibus package, which would provide funding for the whole government.

The House is unlikely to pass all of those bills before a shutdown as the deadline of 1 October is fast approaching.

It’s even less probable that the Democratic-led Senate and Mr Biden will agree to anything that is passed by the House before the deadline.

Mr McCarthy is said to be looking at a 30-day stopgap funding bill to prevent a total shutdown of the government.

But, in the face of all this, House leadership still said the chamber was closing up shop for the week on Thursday.

While Mr McCarthy faces criticism from both parties, he slammed right-wing Republicans earlier on Thursday, telling reporters it was “frustrating in the sense that I don’t understand why anybody votes against bringing the idea and having the debate”.

“And then you got all the amendments if you don’t like the bill. This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down. It doesn’t work,” he added.

Joe Biden and Lauren Boebert call out Kevin McCarthy for taking long weekend (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Joe Biden and Lauren Boebert call out Kevin McCarthy for taking long weekend (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The speaker has reportedly also had stern words with the far-right figures in his party behind closed doors, telling them to move on with their threats to remove him from the speakership.

“If you think you scare me because you want to file a motion to vacate, move the f***ing motion,” he said at a meeting last week, according to Politico.

“Just move the f****** spending bills,” Matt Gaetz of Florida reportedly replied.

The White House has joined in by mocking both Mr McCarthy and Mr Gaetz, sharing a headline from the satirical The Onion website on Wednesday.

“We will have a government shutdown and it is absolutely Speaker McCarthy’s fault,” Mr Gaetz told Fox News.

“We cannot blame Joe Biden for not having moved our individual spending bills. We cannot blame House Democrats. We can’t even blame Chuck Schumer in the Senate.”

The White House reposted the comments on X, adding a screenshot from The Onion with the headline: “Heartbreaking: The Worst Person You Know Just Made A Great Point.”