House Republicans warn McCarthy not to seek a bipartisan deal to keep the government open
The right wing would prefer another shutdown to a stopgap extension of government funding.
Rather than complete work on the 12 appropriations bills needed to keep the federal government fully running when the new fiscal year starts on Oct. 1, House Republicans opted in late July to send everyone home until September. While Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has indicated he will back a stopgap bill to avert a partial shutdown, members of his caucus are warning that doing so could cost him his position.
In an appearance on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” on Tuesday, Republican Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson said that he and like-minded colleagues will not back any continuing resolution to temporarily keep the government operating at current funding levels.
“This is not the way it’s supposed to work, Steve. We’re supposed to pass these appropriations bills. We’re supposed to do things the right way,” Jackson said, adding:
McCarthy’s going to have to listen to the people on the right or else he’s going to have to rely on the Democrats to pass this. And you know, they could do that. They did that with the debt ceiling. More Democrats voted for the debt ceiling than Republicans. They could go down that path again. But I’m telling you, if that happens, it’s going to be detrimental to leadership in the House. If they blow off the concerns of people like myself and the Freedom Caucus and some of the other people on the right that are making reasonable demands in this process, it’s going to be a problem.
Responding to Bannon’s question, “When you say a problem, are you guys prepared, if he goes to [House Minority Leader] Hakeem Jeffries again … and makes him essentially the majority leader, are you prepared to then move on a motion to vacate to remove McCarthy as speaker?” Jackson responded, “Steve, I’m going to be honest with you: I think that’s inevitable.”
Jackson tweeted out a clip taken from the interview with Bannon, writing: “I WILL NOT vote for any continuing resolution that doesn’t DESTROY the DOJ’s weaponization of our government against American citizens. The DOJ has become the Secret Police of the Biden administration. We in Congress have a duty to STOP this. It must END!”
If Congress and the White House do not agree on appropriations bills or a continuing resolution by the Sept. 30 deadline, all government functions deemed nonessential will cease, and employees not considered vital will be furloughed without pay.
On a House GOP conference call on Aug. 14, according to PBS, McCarthy told members that a continuing resolution might be necessary. Two days later, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told MSNBC that he and McCarthy agreed on the need for a stopgap bill for a few months, to give the House and the Senate time to work out appropriations deals.
“The hard right wants to shut down the government,” Schumer noted. “But McCarthy knows that that would be a disaster, not only for the country but for his party.”
“If we use continuing resolutions and omnibus bills to fund government, there is no difference between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Speaker Kevin McCarthy,” tweeted Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale on Tuesday. “It is unacceptable and frankly offensive to the American people to allow Congress to continue on this path toward financial ruin, which is why I will be voting NO on any kind of CR!”
“I will not support a ‘clean’ CR without spending cuts and policy reforms,” tweeted Wisconsin Rep. Tom Tiffany. “House Republicans must hold the line and: Secure the border, End DOJ/FBI weaponization, Eliminate wokeness in our military, Stop blank checks to Ukraine. Anything less is a failure.”
“A ‘clean’ CR is completely out of the question,” Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde tweeted. “It’s time to use the power of the purse to defund Joe Biden’s reckless, woke, and bloated agenda.”
At a July press conference, Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Good suggested that a shutdown might even be a good thing: “We should not fear a government shutdown. Most of what we do up here is bad anyway. Most of what we do up here hurts the American people.”
According to a 2019 blog post by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a tax-exempt organization that advocates for economic austerity, recent government shutdowns have cost the government billions of dollars due to back wages going to pay for lost productivity and other costs; have hurt the nation’s GDP; have disrupted scientific research, safety inspections, and veterans’ services; and have undermined the hiring and retention of competent government staff.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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