GOP Turmoil Over House Leadership Continues

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Budget issues remain a central part of the debate as House Republicans struggle to find a new speaker, with conservative dissidents calling for leadership that will be less willing to compromise with Democrats.

Republicans fell behind schedule in selecting a replacement for John Boehner as speaker after their majority leader, Kevin McCarthy, unexpectedly withdrew from the race last week.

Some of the dissidents point to Republican leaders’ reliance on Democratic support to recently pass a stop-gap spending bill that will keep the government open through Dec. 11. The dissidents want speaker candidates to commit to opposing such bills under similar situations in the future.

Some have also criticized a two-year budget deal in 2013 that Rep. Paul Ryan, then chairman of the House Budget Committee, negotiated with his Democratic Senate counterpart, Patty Murray. Ryan has been widely discussed as a possible speaker in recent days.

The internal Republican debates come at a time when many elected officials, former lawmakers and ordinary citizens frequently lament the lack of bipartisan cooperation and compromise in Washington.

Compromise will soon be needed to raise the federal debt limit. Otherwise, the Treasury warns, the government could default on some obligations in early November.

Elected officials also need to approve spending plans for the current fiscal year — or another stop-gap measure — to avoid a government shutdown in December.  

External links:
After Boehner, House Hard-Liners Aim to Weaken Speakership (N.Y. Times)
House Divided, Specter of Year-End Fiscal Disaster Looms (Fiscal Times)
Market Response to Debt Limit Impasses; Alternative Approaches (GAO)

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