House Republican leadership told members they can leave Washington Thursday after the conference failed to make any progress on funding the government ahead of the Sept. 30 shutdown deadline.
But they advised lawmakers to be on call and ready to return to Washington if needed.
House GOP leadership had informed members that votes were expected Friday into Saturday as discussions over government funding continued. But those plans were scrapped by Thursday afternoon after the House GOP conference faced a number of setbacks in its effort to avert a government shutdown.
The announcement from GOP leadership came shortly after a coalition of conservatives tanked a procedural vote to consider a Pentagon funding bill, marking an embarrassing loss for Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as he looks to unite his conference around the appropriations process.
It also came as enough conservative opposition emerged to block a revamped proposal for a short-term stopgap funding measure that leadership unveiled Wednesday night.
Top appropriators huddled in McCarthy’s office following the failed procedural vote on Thursday. Emerging from that meeting, Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) said some members had already left D.C.
“But I understand that there are members that have, some members that may have already departed for one reason or another but — it’s a college football weekend, there are fundraisers, it’s the end of the golf season, people have scheduled fundraising golf tournaments and those kinds of,” he told reporters. “I get that.”
Updated at 3:48 p.m.