April 22, 2024

House Freedom Caucus on government funding bill: ‘This is what surrender looks like’

The House Freedom Caucus railed against the latest short-term government funding bill, suggesting it is a “surrender” to the left as lawmakers seek to avert a government shutdown by the looming Friday deadline.

“The @HouseGOP is planning to pass a short-term spending bill continuing Pelosi levels with Biden policies, to buy time to pass longer-term spending bills at Pelosi levels with Biden policies. This is what surrender looks like,” the House Freedom Caucus wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Congressional leaders struck the deal last week, just days ahead of the Friday night shutdown deadline. The two-step plan, unveiled on Sunday night, would push the funding threat into early March and allow more time for spending talks past the Jan. 19 funding deadline. As a result, funding for some areas of the government would be extended through March 1 and for the rest of the agencies, through March 8.

If approved in both chambers of Congress, it would be the third funding stopgap, known as a continuing resolution (CR), since the fiscal 2023 funding expired last September. Under the current two-step spending plan, the deadlines fall on Jan. 19 and Feb. 2. The current CR was favored by House GOP members at the time, who saw it as a way to avoid a massive single omnibus spending bill at the end of last year.

The short-term CR would give Congress more time to hash out and approve the 12 full-year appropriations bills, to the ire of hard-line House Republicans who have typically opposed such legislation and advocated instead for long-term spending deals.

House conservatives have long pushed for spending reductions, while some Republicans are insisting border policy changes must be attached to any funding measure. Such opposition from the right means Johnson will likely have to shore up Democratic votes to pass the CR in the lower chamber, further fueling the fury of the far right.

House conservatives spent last week trying to get House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to pull out of the deal, but when Johnson floated the idea of a long-term CR to a group of moderate Republicans, nearly all lawmakers said no to the suggestion, one attendee told The Hill last week.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) indicated earlier on Sunday he will send the funding bill to the Senate floor Tuesday, and called out members of the far right, who he claims are trying to “bully their way into forcing a shutdown.”

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