Mr. McCarthy also faces challenges in passing a temporary funding bill given that multiple far-right House Republicans have said they would not vote for one without spending cuts and stringent new border measures. House Republicans are working to reach a compromise that would tie elements of a border security bill passed this year to the temporary funding, but such an approach is likely to meet stiff resistance from Senate Democrats.
Mr. McCarthy is maneuvering on the spending issues as he faces threats from the far right about a possible move to remove him from the top House post for not keeping spending commitments and honoring other concessions he made to secure their votes for the speakership during his 15-round battle for the job in January. The speaker said that he would fight to hold his job and that he would not let the threats distract him from the spending showdown.
“I’m only going to focus on the American public,” he said, adding: “We have made great progress here in changing this capital. And when you change Washington, you get enemies.”
Several more mainstream Republicans expressed frustration last week at the efforts of the most conservative wing of their party to hold up the spending bills and have been urging Mr. McCarthy to put the Pentagon bill on the floor. Ms. Stefanik said on Sunday that she and the majority of House Republicans “believe the speaker will survive any type of motion” to remove him from the post.
On ABC’s “This Week,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democratic leader, said the Republican infighting on spending issues amounted to a “civil war” and he would not say if Democrats would help Mr. McCarthy hold on to his spot if a floor challenge became a reality.
“If that moment presents itself, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” Mr. Jeffries said. “But what we should be focused on right now is avoiding an unnecessary government shutdown that will hurt the ability of our economy to continue to recover, which President Biden has led a tremendous recovery to date. And that shouldn’t be interrupted because of partisan, political gamesmanship.”