With a government shutdown four days away, thanks largely to House Republicans’ inability to stop fighting amongst themselves, far-right Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert thought it important to focus on their pet grievances on Wednesday.
Greene successfully used the Holman rule to attach an amendment to a short-term defense spending bill to reduce Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s yearly salary to $1. Austin, the first African American Secretary of Defense, was “destroying our military” and had allowed recruitment to fall to “crisis levels,” Greene huffed.
The move was purely a stunt: She previously said she’d vote against the defense bill anyway because she objected to its inclusion of aid for Ukraine.
Not to be outdone, Boebert successfully inserted an amendment to reduce the annual salary for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness Shawn Skelly, who is transgender, to $1.
In a transphobic rant, she accused Skelly of espousing “wokeism” that had caused “significant harm to our military readiness and troops’ morale.”
Democrats didn’t bother asking for a roll call vote on Greene’s amendment, which is almost certainly dead on arrival in the Senate. She still predictably gloated about it on social media afterwards.
While House Republicans managed to advance the defense bill on Tuesday night, as well as three other spending bills—part of ultraconservative members’ demands to consider 12 individual funding bills rather than one sweeping continuing resolution to keep the government open—House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has made zero progress on thwarting a shutdown.
He is reportedly planning to bring a short-term funding bill to the floor on Friday that cuts spending and includes border security measures—but at least eight hardline Republicans are still vowing to kill it. According to Politico, they are Reps. Andy Biggs (AZ), Eli Crane (AZ), Cory Mills (FL), Matt Gaetz (FL), Tim Burchett (TN), Andy Ogles (TN), Wesley Hunt (TX) and Matt Rosendale (MT). Boebert is also likely to join them.
“We are going to pass 12 appropriations bills before I will consider a [continuing resolution],” Ogles said.