Our Best Stuff From a Week the Government Didn’t Shut Down

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy celebrates after meeting with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C, on September 30, 2023. (Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

Hello and happy Sunday! Yesterday was a pretty busy day in the Ohio bureau: We had family in town, and our kids had their homecoming dance. There were corsages to pick up, clothes to be ironed, and pictures to be taken. It was so busy, in fact, that it wasn’t until about 10 p.m. that I peeked at the news and realized that Congress had had a much busier day. 

Somehow, Speaker Kevin McCarthy defied expectations—mostly by defying the handful of hardliners in his own party who were holding things up—and avoided a government shutdown. He worked with House Democrats to pass a continuing resolution, which will keep the government open for 45 days, by a vote of 335-91. It then passed the Senate 88-9.

The lights are on, national parks are open, and our military members and air traffic controllers won’t be working without pay. That’s the good news. But we’ll just be doing this all over again very soon, and it looks like there will be a bit of palace intrigue throughout the process.

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, the prickliest thorn in McCarthy’s side during his time as House speaker, said this morning that he will make good on his threat to offer a motion to vacate the speakership if McCarthy worked with Democrats to fund the government. Thing is, Gaetz is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for all manner of misconduct, both personal and professional. Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich tweeted that some House Republicans will move to expel Gaetz if the ethics committee “comes back with findings of guilt.”

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