The GOP-controlled House of Representatives failed to pass a $766 billion defense spending bill on Wednesday, in a major setback for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s leadership. The bill was defeated by a vote of 212-209, with 12 Republicans joining all Democrats in opposition.
The bill was opposed by a group of hardline Republicans who argued that it did not go far enough to increase military spending or reduce the size of the federal government. The group, which includes members of the House Freedom Caucus, has been a thorn in McCarthy’s side for months, and their opposition to the defense spending bill is another sign of the challenges he faces in leading the House Republican conference.
The defeat of the defense spending bill is also a blow to President Biden, who had urged Congress to pass the bill before the end of the month. The bill would have funded the Pentagon for the next fiscal year and authorized a number of new weapons programs.
It is unclear when the House will take another vote on the defense spending bill. However, the defeat of the bill on Wednesday is a major setback for McCarthy and Biden.