By Sam Fossum, Haley Talbot and Manu Raju, CNN
(CNN) — Rep. Garret Graves, one of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s closest allies, told CNN that he’s fed up with conservative critics dangling the threat of McCarthy’s ouster, saying that he’s prepared to put the debate to rest by forcing a vote on the threat.
“I don’t think the speaker is even remotely concerned about some of the theatrics going on right now,” Graves told CNN’s Manu Raju. “As a matter of fact … I drafted a motion to vacate for the speaker as well. I’ve got it sitting on my desk right now. And I said, ‘Look, if you’re going to keep hanging this over (his) head and playing these games, let’s just do it now, let’s get it over with. Get your little games over with and then we’ll get back to the things that actually matter.’”
When asked whether he would make such a move this week, Graves indicated it was possible: “Perhaps.”
The Louisiana Republican also came down on the right-wing hardliners who have tanked GOP efforts to pass a stopgap funding bill to provide more time to finish the House’s appropriations bills for the next fiscal year.
“It’s a huge concern that I have,” Graves said.
He added, “They’ve sort of created this quandary that we’re in right now, and it’s something that we have been trying to avoid now for months.”
Graves also accused members who have indicated that they are still against a stopgap bill of being in “partnership” with Democratic leaders and being motivated by “personal agendas.”
“I just think it’s a really flawed strategy, and I think that statements like that only empower Chuck Schumer. It almost looks like a partnership with Chuck Schumer and the White House for folks that are taking that position because all you’re doing … is giving the pen to Joe Biden and to Chuck Schumer,” Graves said.
When asked at what point the GOP should consider reaching a deal with Democrats to avoid a shutdown, Graves sidestepped the question.
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