GOP Rep. Lawler says he didn’t come to ‘play stupid games,’ backs McCarthy as shutdown nears
Republican Rep. Mike Lawler said as the House heads toward a partial government shutdown that he didn’t come to Congress to “play stupid games” that are “screwing the American people.”
Mr. Lawler, of New York, criticized fellow House Republicans who have balked at a short-term spending deal, which has caused the House to not agree on legislation to fund the government beyond Sept. 30. Lawmakers were sent home Thursday and will return to Washington next week to try again.
“I didn’t come here to shut the government down or play stupid games so we could raise $5 donations by claiming we’re doing something and sticking it to the administration, when in fact all they would be doing is screwing the American people,” he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “You’re not saving money in a shutdown.”
“In fact, it’s going to cost more money in a shutdown,” Mr. Lawler said. “And at the end of the day, they’re weakening our hand and the speaker’s hand to negotiate.”
Speaker Kevin McCarthy has tried to bring Republicans together to pass a spending bill, but conservative House members are unwavering about not voting on a stopgap measure. On Thursday, Mr. McCarthy faced another roadblock when House Republicans voted down the annual defense appropriations bill, after the same bill got shut down on Tuesday.
The House has only advanced one spending bill out of 12 so far, with the Sept. 30 deadline looming.
Though Mr. McCarthy is taking the blame for these failed bills, Mr. Lawler thinks the speaker is still doing a “phenomenal” job.
“He’s the strong leader and he’s fighting for the conference every day to put us in the best position to serve the American people and do the job we were elected to do” he said.