Right-wing House Republicans dealt another stunning rebuke to Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Thursday morning, blocking a Pentagon funding bill for the second time this week in a vivid display of G.O.P. disunity on federal spending that threatens to lead to a government shutdown in nine days.
Just hours after Mr. McCarthy signaled he had won over some of the holdouts and was ready to move forward, a handful of Republicans broke with their party to oppose the routine measure that would allow the military appropriations bill to come to the House floor for debate, joining with Democrats to defeat it.
It was a major black eye for Mr. McCarthy, who has on multiple occasions admonished his members in private for taking the rare step of bringing down such votes, known as rules, proposed by their own party — a previously unheard-of tactic. And it signaled continuing right-wing resistance to funding the government, even after the speaker had capitulated Wednesday night to demands from hard-right Republicans for deeper spending cuts as part of any bill to prevent a shutdown.
Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, a member of Democratic leadership, said he had never before seen a speaker lose a rule vote so many times — three times in four months, and twice this week alone — something that had not happened for two decades before Mr. McCarthy assumed the post.
“I don’t quite understand this,” Mr. Clyburn said of Mr. McCarthy’s strategy, before suggesting he consider cutting a deal with the top House Democrat that could pass both chambers and keep the government open. “My advice is, ‘Go sit down with Hakeem Jeffries.’ If he’s got a solid majority of his caucus. Why wouldn’t he? This is the tail wagging the dog. That’s not the way to do it.”
The final vote was 216 to 212 against the rule to allow the military spending measure to proceed. All Democrats also voted against it, given their opposition to the funding levels in the bill and other provisions that were added by Republicans who say they need to eliminate “woke” policies in the military.
Representatives Andy Biggs of Arizona, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Eli Crane of Arizona, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Matt Rosendale of Montana voted against it. Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, the chairman of the Rules Committee and an ally of Mr. McCarthy, also voted “no” so that he would have the ability to request that the vote be reconsidered, a step he took immediately after it was defeated.
But with the House in chaos, leaders quickly asked for a recess to regroup, and it was not clear when they would try again.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.