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Water Bill Victim Of House Leadership Crisis

October 6, 2023   The Waterways Journal

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Washington, D.C.—In addition to pushing the House into uncharted territory or, some say, even chaos, the unprecedented ouster of Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also brought the chamber’s legislative activity to a screeching halt.


An early casualty turned out to be an appropriations bill important to the waterways industry. H.R. 4394, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, was the only legislative item listed on the House schedule for Tuesday and Wednesday.


After the vote to end McCarthy’s speakership, the House adjourned with no more votes expected until the next week.

House Republicans have little time to get their conference back to regular order. Not only do they have to pick a new leader to get legislation back on track, but federal agencies face another shutdown deadline by mid-November. That deadline was included in the stopgap measure approved Saturday, September 30, to avert a shutdown with just hours to spare.


Passed with more votes from Democrats than Republicans, that measure helped fuel the effort to oust McCarthy. Eight Republicans joined united Democrats to remove him with a 216-210 vote.


On Wednesday, two Republicans—Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio—jumped into the race to succeed McCarthy.