The conservative House Freedom Caucus is demanding more concessions from GOP leadership in exchange for support on a stopgap spending extension aimed at avoiding a government shutdown and giving lawmakers more time to make a deal on funding for the next fiscal year.
Lawmakers will be under pressure when they return to Capitol Hill in two weeks with just one of 12 promised appropriations bills having passed the House. It’s grown increasingly likely to both sides of the aisle that a short-term patch known as a “continuing resolution,” (CR) which extends the current spending priorities, is needed to give legislators more time to hammer out a deal.
The Freedom Caucus said on Monday that its members would oppose any “clean” CR, calling it an extension of Democratic priorities passed under the last Congress in an “omnibus” spending bill that most of the GOP opposed.
“In the eventuality that Congress must consider a short-term extension of government funding through a Continuing Resolution, we refuse to support any such measure that continues Democrats’ bloated COVID-era spending and simultaneously fails to force the Biden Administration to follow the law and fulfill its most basic responsibilities,” the Freedom Caucus said on Monday.
HOUSE REPUBLICANS DEMAND INFO ON HOW DOJ USES TAXPAYER DOLLARS AS DEPARTMENT FUNDING BATTLE RAGES
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, speaks during the House Freedom Caucus news conference to oppose the debt limit deal outside of the US Capitol on Monday, May 30, 2023. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
“Any support for a ‘clean’ Continuing Resolution would be an affirmation of the current FY 2023 spending level grossly increased by the lame-duck December 2022 omnibus spending bill that we all vehemently opposed just seven months ago.”
They demanded that House Republicans leverage their razor-thin majority to force measures on border security, government weaponization and undoing the Biden administration’s “woke” military policies in exchange for passing a bill to avoid a partial government shutdown.
BIDEN’S UKRAINE FUNDING REQUEST TRIGGERS HOUSE SHOWDOWN: ‘SHOVELING MONEY OUT THE DOOR’
It’s setting up the latest battle between the hard-line right faction of House Republicans’ majority and its leadership, who have already agreed to enact spending levels about $120 billion below those set by Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden’s debt limit deal earlier this year. The Freedom Caucus had opposed that deal, accusing GOP leaders of handing a victory to the left.
FILE: President Joe Biden meets with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., to discuss the debt limit in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, May 22, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
Rather than passing a “clean” CR, the Freedom Caucus outlined three key demands that would need to be attached to any such measure.
It must “Include the House-passed ‘Secure the Border Act of 2023’ to cease the unchecked flow of illegal migrants, combat the evils of human trafficking, and stop the flood of dangerous fentanyl into our communities,” as well as “Address the unprecedented weaponization of the Justice Department and FBI to focus them on prosecuting real criminals instead of conducting political witch hunts and targeting law-abiding citizens; and…End the Left’s cancerous woke policies in the Pentagon undermining our military’s core warfighting mission.”
DON’T PAY CONGRESS IF GOVERNMENT SHUTS DOWN, SAYS GOP LAWMAKER
It’s highly unlikely that any of those demands would pass the Democrat-controlled Senate, putting the two chambers even further apart.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., conducts a news conference after the senate luncheons in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, June 21, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“Furthermore, we will oppose any attempt by Washington to revert to its old playbook of using a series of short-term funding extensions designed to push Congress up against a December deadline to force the passage of yet another monstrous, budget busting, pork filled, lobbyist handout omnibus spending bill at year’s end and we will use every procedural tool necessary to prevent that outcome,” the group said.
But in addition to those requirements, the Freedom Caucus has said it is also opposed to additional funding for Ukraine – which Biden asked for this month – in any supplemental funding bill.