Dozens of teens stormed the office of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s office Thursday, urging him to come to an agreement with his fellow Republicans to avoid a government shutdown in less than three days.
Several of the teenagers affiliated with the Sunrise Movement, a youth climate justice group, occupied the Speaker’s office around 11am ET, carrying signs with slogans like, “The GOP hates Gen Z” and “Climate action not shutdowns.”
Other Sunrise Movement members attempted to speak in the halls of Congress with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-AZ) who’s been standing firm against a continuing resolution that McCarthy’s hoping to pass. Gaetz ducked the teens’ questions.
Tensions re-erupted Thursday between McCarthy and Gaetz during a closed door meeting. According to CNN sources, later confirmed by Gaetz himself, the Representative stood up and confronted the Speaker about whether his allies were paying conservative influencers to bash Gaetz in social media posts—an allegation McCarthy’s office has denied.
McCarthy responded that he wouldn’t waste his time or money on Gaetz, a statement the Representative also confirmed.
Congress has only until Saturday at midnight to agree on a federal budget or force a government shutdown.
On Thursday, the Senate was moving forward with a stopgap spending measure to keep the government funded through mid-November to avert the shutdown, while the House at the same time was moving forward with four appropriations bills that are unlikely to become law and cannot prevent a shutdown on their own even if they did.
McCarthy plans to bring a GOP-crafted stopgap bill to the floor Friday, even though such legislation would be dead on arrival in the Senate. However, it’s meant to open negotiations with Democrats in the upper chamber one day before the shutdown deadline.
Far-right Republican hardliners like Gaetz have said they won’t vote for continuing resolution no matter what’s in it.