House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is in a hell of a fix and, unfortunately, the rest of the American public is in it with him.

McCarthy needs to get the House to pass a temporary spending bill to avert a government shutdown on Sept. 30. Members of McCarthy’s own party, the Freedom Caucus, are opposed to this.

McCarthy could possibly rely on the Democratic members of the House to pass this legislation. However, by opening the recent impeachment inquiry to placate members of the Freedom Caucus, McCarthy has succeeded in alienating the very group who might have been able to help him. Additionally, the members of the Freedom Caucus are refusing to accept the opening of an inquiry as a trade-off to pass a stopgap spending bill.

Further complicating matters, as part of McCarthy’s Faustian deal with the Freedom Caucus last January to become speaker, McCarthy acquiesced to their demand that just one member of the House can request a motion to vacate, which forces a vote on removing the speaker. Members of the Freedom Caucus are threatening to do just that.

Thus, we arrive at the fix. So, how does the shutdown come back to us? Consider this one example: Since no defense spending has been authorized for the coming fiscal year, service members would thus be required to continue working without compensation until appropriations are made available.

This brings to mind the ironic phrase: “May you live in interesting times.” The “times” may become very interesting indeed between now and Sept. 30.

Samuel Rosenthal

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