While Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) said definitively Sunday that he “will bet on Kevin McCarthy any day” amid the Republican House Speaker’s struggle to wrangle enough votes from his party to fund the federal government and stave off a government shutdown next month, one of Turner’s colleagues took a different approach.
“I wouldn’t bet on Kevin McCarthy,” Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) said on CBS Face the Nation, “but I also wouldn’t bet against him.”
McCarthy, who finally won the speakership back in January thanks to apparent concessions to far-right members of his party, is seeing some of those members, like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), resist a stopgap spending bill to avoid a shutdown. Gaetz, whose confrontation with McCarthy on the House floor during one of the 15 rounds of voting earlier this year went viral, has also threatened to call daily votes to take the gavel back from the California congressman.
Amid this backdrop, Gonzales, who has said he too opposes a stopgap spending bill, was largely critical of McCarthy.
“Continuing resolutions don’t solve the problem. They just kick the can down the road,” he told anchor Margaret Brennan.
“I called it a month ago, and I said we’ve on a path toward a shutdown because Speaker McCarthy wants that and President Biden wants that,” he argued.
When pressed on whether he effectively wants to see a shutdown given the time required to pass the legislation that he prefers, Gonzales maintained that he didn’t.
“I don’t want to see a shutdown, but in my experience, if you give Congress more time, they’ve just going to take that time,” he said, adding that a rapidly approaching deadline would facilitate action. “I don’t want to see a shutdown, but there is no doubt in my mind that the country is headed for a shutdown, and everyone should prepare as such.”