House Republican says some colleagues have been 'stuck on stupid' as shutdown deadline approaches

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Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY) criticized a handful of House Republicans who are blocking efforts to avert a government shutdown at the end of the week.

“The American people elected a House Republican majority to serve as a check and balance and be able to govern,” Lawler said in an interview with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. “Some of my colleagues have, frankly, been stuck on stupid and refused to do what we were elected to do, against the vast majority of the conference, who have been working to avoid a shutdown.”

Lawler doesn’t think it’s possible for the Senate to pass the remaining 12 appropriations bills by Friday’s deadline and avoid a shutdown.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and a few other hard-line conservatives have opposed any short-term funding measures, blocking Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from passing anything and that requires compromising with Democrats.

“Two weeks ago, the speaker came forth with a proposal that would reduce spending by 8 percent in the 30-day continuing resolution, as well as enact most of the provisions of HR2 to deal with our border crisis,” Lawler said Tuesday night. “Unfortunately, folks like Matt Gaetz chose to oppose that for some ridiculous reason.”

Gaetz has repeatedly said he will oppose McCarthy’s resolutions and has threatened to call for a vote to remove the Speaker from his position. On Tuesday, he also asked for pay to be withheld from members of Congress if a shutdown occurs.

Lawler said he agrees with his party that federal spending must be cut, but avoiding a shutdown is necessary.

“I’ve been very clear from the start, that I will not support a government shutdown, that we need to do everything we can to avoid one,” Lawler told Collins. “Nobody wins in a shutdown. And in fact, the American people are going to be the ones that get hurt.”

Congress has three days to come to an agreement to fund the government past Sept. 30.

On Tuesday, the Senate revealed its own proposal for a resolution, which would put off a shutdown for six weeks. While House Republicans were able to advance four full-year spending bills on Tuesday, it is not enough to prevent the shutdown.

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