McCarthy says US House Republicans to vote on defense spending bill Thursday

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(Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Republicans will try again to move forward on fiscal 2024 spending legislation on Thursday, with a procedural vote on a defense appropriations bill.

After a 2-1/2 hour closed-door meeting with members of his Republican majority, the California Republican also said lawmakers were “very close” to agreement on a short-term stopgap measure to avert a government shutdown on Sept. 30.

He said House Republicans would also begin moving forward with other full-scale appropriations bills for the 2024 fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1.

“We’re going to be voting tomorrow,” McCarthy told reporters.

“I think we made tremendous progress,” he added. “I think we’ve got a plan to move forward.”

Republicans met a day after opposition from five of their fellow party members defeated a vote intended to open debate on a $886 billion defense spending bill.

McCarthy told reporters that he was able to persuade two of the five to change their positions.

Republican hardliners want assurances that fiscal 2024 appropriations will not exceed a 2022 top line of $1.47 trillion – $120 billion less than McCarthy and Democratic President Joe Biden agreed to in May.

(Reporting by David Morgan, Kanishka Singh and Dan Whitcomb)

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