Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stepped up his war of words Tuesday with House Republicans ahead of a potential government shutdown, accusing Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) of allowing “chaos” to reign in the lower chamber by letting a small group of conservatives drive much of the spending debate.  

“Sadly, chaos has reigned in the House,” Schumer said on the Senate floor in response to the bitter Republican infighting in the lower chamber over the annual spending bills.  

House GOP leaders had to punt on plans to vote on a Defense appropriations bill last week after conservatives threatened to sink the measure because of disagreements on overall spending.  

It also appears that McCarthy doesn’t have the votes to pass a stopgap funding bill to avoid a government shutdown at month’s end. House conservatives and moderates agreed to a deal on a continuing resolution to fund discretionary spending outside the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments by 8 percent — cuts that are unacceptable to Democrats.  

“It doesn’t have to be that way. It doesn’t have to be a MAGA Republican only bill. It doesn’t have to be the MAGA way or a shutdown. House Republicans have a choice in the matter, between pursing real chances for bipartisanship and catering to the hard right,” he said.  

Schumer warned that McCarthy would be heightening the chances of a shutdown by passing a stopgap that has no chance of passing the Senate.  

“Each time they have chosen to empower the hard right, they’ve chosen dysfunction and chaos,” the Democratic leader said.