Schumer is very worried right now.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, representing New York, expressed serious concerns on Wednesday regarding the current state of Congress. He emphasized the precariousness of the situation, particularly due to the absence of an elected Speaker in the House and the impending expiration of government funding next month.
According to The Hill, Schumer pointed out that the House’s inability to resolve its leadership question has essentially paralyzed legislative proceedings, making it impossible to advance any appropriations bills. This gridlock significantly raises the risk of a government shutdown, which would have far-reaching consequences.
He further emphasized that this congressional impasse could potentially endanger national security in the event of a crisis. The House’s inability to promptly respond to pressing matters could pose significant challenges if an urgent national situation were to arise.
Schumer attributed the recent upheaval in the House to a group of far-right Republicans, referring to them as “MAGA extremists,” who, on Tuesday, succeeded in removing a sitting Speaker for the first time in history. Notably, eight Republicans broke ranks with their party to support the motion to vacate Kevin McCarthy’s position, which he had held since January.
Schumer contended that McCarthy’s approach over the past nine months, in which he attempted to appease a faction of far-right House conservatives, had laid the groundwork for his downfall. He described the situation as a “disaster in the making” that was entirely of the House Republicans’ making.
The Democratic leader urged the future Speaker not to allow House conservatives to dictate the terms of their leadership and encouraged a more bipartisan approach to advancing legislation in the lower chamber. Schumer emphasized that, regardless of who assumes the role of Speaker, the realities of divided government would persist, underscoring the continued need for bipartisanship to keep the government operational.
In the interim, Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina will serve as the acting Speaker until a longer-term replacement for McCarthy is elected. It is important to note that government funding is set to expire on November 17, adding urgency to the need for Congress to address these pressing issues promptly.