U.S. House Republicans delay initial vote on short-term funding bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Tuesday that he has delayed a key procedural vote for a 30-day stopgap funding measure intended to avert a government shutdown after current funding for federal agencies expires on Sept. 30.

Speaking to reporters in the U.S. Capitol, McCarthy said the House of Representatives would consider a vote to open debate on the measure sometime, after lawmakers vote on whether to open debate on a defense appropriations bill. The stopgap measure vote had been scheduled to happen first.

“We changed the order,” the Republican speaker told reporters, saying the delay would provide more time for his fractured Republican majority to muster the votes needed to pass the measure.

The stopgap, known as a continuing resolution or “CR,” faces opposition from more than a dozen Republican hardline conservatives, enough to block its path forward in the House.

The CR would keep federal agencies afloat until Oct. 31 but cut discretionary spending by about 8% for agencies outside of defense, veterans affairs and disaster relief. It would also impose certain restrictions on immigration and resume construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Republican hardliners who oppose the measure say it does not go far enough to cut spending and constrain the administration of President Joe Biden, a Democrat.

The measure also faces stiff opposition from Democrats in both the House and Senate, who have decried its spending cuts and immigration policy changes.

(Reporting by David Morgan and Katharine Jackson; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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