House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s closely watched alliance with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is suddenly looking a little bit wobbly, as the Georgia hardliner has helped frustrate his efforts to pass a budget.
Greene announced on Sunday afternoon that she was a “HARD NO” on the rules package McCarthy is currently trying to advance, which would bring a suite of government spending bills to the floor, because it would mean “more money for Ukraine.” Cutting funding for the war-torn country has been a high priority for Greene, who told reporters last week that she was “just a no on any funding bill” containing support for Kyiv. McCarthy initially suggested he’d meet her demand, but reversed himself this weekend because removing the money would be “too difficult.”
Greene also told reporters last week she was planning to introduce an amendment that would strip the Justice Department of its ability to fund special counsel investigations, threatening to throw another kink into the budget effort. She announced it the same day former President Donald Trump urged Republicans to shut the government down unless the budget defunded Jack Smith’s investigations into him.
After getting off to a rocky start with the Republican leader, Greene shocked much of Washington by cozying up with McCarthy to become one of his most outspoken allies during his battle for the speakership — even posing with him for a victory selfie on the House floor. (“I will never leave that woman,” McCarthy reportedly told a friend. “I will always take care of her.”)
But Greene’s closeness with leadership has cost her with conservative colleagues, factoring into the House Freedom Caucus’s decision to eject her from its membership. (Her office declined a request to comment.) Taking a stand now might be a way to win back a bit of hard-right credibility. Another way to think about what might be happening? Greene can almost always be counted on to align with Donald Trump. And now that he’s openly rooting for a shutdown unless Republicans “GET EVERYTHING,” she might just take the same attitude.