Kevin McCarthy Grapples with Mounting Demands Amid Looming Shutdown

( – Kevin McCarthy may have pulled the trigger with the announcement of the beginning of formal impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden, but he remains in the unenviable position of trying to juggle multiple crises while dealing with pressure from influential members of the GOP to accede to their other demands.

More pressing than the impeachment against Biden is the looming government shutdown that could happen at the end of September, as many conservative representatives have also taken issue with federal spending and have pressured McCarthy to hold the line and take an all-or-nothing approach with Democrats, despite the GOP’s slim advantage in Congress and a Democrat-dominated Senate and White House.

Another thing McCarthy has to deal with is the potential loss of his speakership in the House, a possibility some colleagues in the party have dangled like a sword of Damocles over his head should he fail to capitulate to their demands.

In a recent panel discussion in ABC News’ “This Week,” Rick Klein, ABC News’ political director, pointed out that McCarthy can only do so much, especially given the precarious situation both he and House Republicans have.

“This is a very difficult moment for Kevin McCarthy,” Klein said, pointing out that McCarthy, while in the “driver’s seat to an extent,” doesn’t really know or control where the rest of the Republicans in the House want to steer things toward.

Another panelist, Rachel Bade, senior Washington correspondent for Politico, agreed. She said that McCarthy was only very reluctantly backed as speaker by many conservatives, only because “Donald Trump was the one breathing down their necks” and now he is being asked by fellow GOP members “for things he cannot give them,” which has soured his reputation among House Republicans.

Bade also pointed out that while a number of GOP members in the House seem to have taken hard stances on where they are on funding and government spending – with some even saying they would be fine with a shutdown – “funding the government should be bipartisan,” and McCarthy has to consider the fact that the Democrats control both the Senate and the White House.

“You’ve got a Democratic Senate and a Democratic White House, it’s not going to fly,” Bade said.

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