WASHINGTON – While House Republicans bicker over who should succeed former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and lead the GOP conference, the House is virtually paralyzed as Congress faces the monumental task of funding the government by mid-November. After McCarthy’s historic ouster Tuesday, House Republicans adjourned for the week to recuperate and ease high tensions. When they come back next week, the House will hold an election for speaker to determine the lower chamber’s top leader. One of McCarthy’s close allies, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., is currently serving in a limited role as acting speaker – speaker pro tempore – but his powers are mostly unclear. McHenry’s main task will be overseeing the next speaker election. Besides committee work, the House will be unable to pass legislation: including key legislation to avert a shutdown.
The original plan for House Republicans, after successfully avoiding a shutdown last weekend, was to pass in October the 12 appropriation bills necessary to fund the government long-term. McCarthy, following his removal, said Tuesday he had already begun informal discussions with Senate leaders about averting a shutdown. But his sudden ousting has completely upended those plans with lawmakers going home while mulling over who should serve as the next speaker. “I’m concerned with the timeline now,” McCarthy said.
‘Now is not the time to slow down’
The priority for House Republicans right now, they say, is finding a new leader.
“We’re getting this one thing done first,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, said about the prospects of a government shutdown while the House is left without a speaker. “We’ll have a speaker by next week … and then the appropriations process will continue.”
Conservative hardliner Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who led the efforts to oust McCarthy, defended his rebellion in spite of the Nov. 17 funding deadline. The House, he argued, had already been paralyzed considering Congress left for its August recess instead of focusing on the appropriations process. Rep. Nancy Mace, S.C., another one of the eight Republicans who voted to remove McCarthy from the speakership, dismissed concerns about the likelihood of a government shutdown after ousting McCarthy.
Under McCarthy’s leadership, Mace argued, the government barely made progress towards averting a shutdown and that several appropriation bills “were not done. They haven’t gotten through.” “Hopefully we’ll have a new speaker in short order. If we can get it done quickly, then there’s no reason to pause,” Mace said. The candidates so far jockeying for the speakership have alluded to the time crunch Congress is facing – a problem only exacerbated by the position’s vacancy.
“Now is not the time to slow down,” House Majority Leader, Steve Scalise, R-La., a candidate for speaker, wrote in a letter to his fellow GOP lawmakers. “We laid out an aggressive schedule to complete floor consideration of all 12 appropriations bills to go into Senate negotiations with the strongest hand possible, and we cannot afford to lose any more time achieving that goal.
“At some point we’re going to have to deal with this appropriations process,” House Judiciary chair, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, another candidate for speaker, told reporters Wednesday.
Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., chair of the Republican Study Committee, the largest group of House Republicans, told reporters Thursday that his focus as speaker would also be on pushing through the 12 appropriation bills. If House Republicans could do that, the onus of government funding would be on the Senate and the White House, Hern said.
“If we get our 12 appropriation bills done, then it is the White House and Senate that are shutting down the government, not us,” Hern said.
Paris, France CNN — It was an emotional nine days in Paris. The energy was high even though many attendees were tired after a long season of shows across New York, London and Milan — and with unpredictable weather in each city. Paris proved to be no different. Bursts of rain were a nice welcome amid muggy heat; in many venues, invitations were used as make-shift fans — and some showgoers carried handheld electric ones to keep cool. These proved to be a shrewd accessory choice in particular at shows which ran late, some by almost an hour. (In other words, not just fashionably late.) To be fair, the tardiness was partially due to the hordes of fashion fans gathered outside. At some of the bigger shows, it was near pandemonium and some in the crowds were seemingly at risk of getting run over by oncoming traffic. There was much anticipation this season for designers making their Paris debut, including Peter Do, fresh from showing his inaugural collection for Helmut Lang in New York, Francesco Risso of Marni and Stefano Gallici for Ann Demeulemeester, having been appointed the brand’s new creative director in June. Helmut Lang returns to the runway, with ascendant designer Peter Do at the helm “Paris is a dream come true,” Do said after the show. “I feel really grown up and I wanted to make grown up clothes and I feel like Paris is the right place for the new 32-year old PD sensibility to exist.” But there were also fond farewells, none more emotional than Sarah Burton’s leaving Alexander McQueen, a fashion house where she had spent her entire career. Burton worked as Lee McQueen’s right hand for years and, after his untimely death, took over as the brand’s creative director. Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz’s large-scale woven textiles, featuring tightly wound coils with rope detailing trailing below, were placed around the room as a backdrop to the show, which included rose-printed silk dresses, intricate knitwear and impeccable tailoring seen in fitted blazers with cut-outs adapted from earlier McQueen designs.