House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Friday he was willing to consider a "clean," two-week stopgap spending bill without Ukraine aid — a shift from his prior position.
"I think if we had a clean one without Ukraine on it, we could probably be able to move that through," the California Republican explained, according to ABC News. "I think if the Senate puts Ukraine on there and focuses Ukraine over America ... that could cause real problems."
"If they produce a clean ability to keep the government open while we finish our work and have gotten to our [appropriations] bills, I think we can solve that," he added, further suggesting it could be as short term as two weeks.
The speaker had just left a lengthy conference meeting that reportedly did not go well.
His comments indicate that he is willing to start with a proposal originating in the Senate without aid to Ukraine and get it passed in the lower chamber.
McCarthy had signaled earlier this week he would not bring the current Senate bill to the floor, hoping instead to work exclusively within the House Republican Conference to get a proposal through.
But after failing to muster the support of 21 conservative House Republicans for the conference's proposal, seeking a compromise with House Democrats might be his last option to avoid a government shutdown.
Still, Democrats likely have enough leverage to push for the Ukraine aid to be included in the House proposal, The Hill noted.
The otherwise clean proposal with Ukraine aid passed the Senate with bipartisan support, and many House Republicans also support continued governmental, military, and weapons assistance to the country.
"I proposed to put a clean one up, but the Democrats won't vote for it. So, that would be a shutdown. But I'm working through — maybe [we'll] be able to do that," McCarthy said.
The government will shut down at midnight on Sept. 30 if nothing is passed.
Luca Cacciatore, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is based in Arlington, Virginia, reporting on news and politics.
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