The House Republican budget stalled in committee Wednesday night amid a war between GOP leaders and their Budget Committee chairman over funding for the global war on terror, as each tried to appease a contingent of the GOP conference crucial to passing their yearly spending blueprint.
Unable to overcome stark internal differences, the budget panel recessed around 10 p.m. without having finished marking up the measure. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy arrived to twist arms, but the effort was unsuccessful and the committee threw in the towel at midnight—with hopes of trying again Thursday.
Whatever the final outcome, the budget delay marks yet another stumble by a Republican majority that has repeatedly found itself unable to move controversial legislation easily through its ranks in the 114th Congress.
House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, according to GOP leadership aides, had resisted pressure from leaders to up his budget's defense coffers without offsetting the spending—so much so that he told them earlier in the week that an amendment doing so would not pass in the committee.
Skeptical of his claims, Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry went over his head and checked with committee members on their own. They found that, according to their tally, an amendment would be able to pass, the aides said. So around 7 p.m., the committee released an amendment from Rep. Todd Rokita that appeared to be crafted to appease defense hawks' concerns.