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Tags: house | gop | spending | kevin mccarthy | joe biden | august | recess

House GOP Races to Pass Spending Bills as Shutdown Looms

By    |   Monday, 24 July 2023 10:22 AM EDT

House Republicans are racing to build enough support among their members to pass a pair of annual spending bills ahead of their August recess and a looming government shutdown, according to Politico.

With a potential Sept. 30 shutdown in sight, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., will need the full support of his deeply fractured caucus to ensure passage of the proposals. They are reportedly two of the easier spending bills among a dozen.

Senators are watching the House drama unfold from across the Capitol and waiting to see which path the lower chamber will take.

"Hopefully, we can avoid a government shutdown and all the craziness that those crazy bastards are going to do over there," Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said of House Republicans.

"If you want to shut down, we will shut down," he told Politico. "If they want to get the bills done, we'll get the bills done."

McCarthy's biggest stumbling block in the funding discussion is a group of House Freedom Caucus members who want deeper cuts to the spending bills than the ones the speaker agreed to last month during talks with President Joe Biden.

Politico reports that McCarthy won't need to completely settle the matter with these conservatives to secure enough votes to pass either or both of the funding bills, however. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, told the outlet that as long as any spending bill that comes to the floor approximates the Freedom Caucus' preferred budget levels, reducing the rest of the dozen bills can be done later.

"At some point, we can figure those out a little bit on the fly," Roy, a Freedom Caucus member, said. "We're trying to work in good faith, again, focused on the pre-COVID-level spending."

Swing district Republicans are going to find it difficult to support the lower budget levels that Roy and 20 other House Republicans demanded from McCarthy as a condition of their support for spending bills he tries to pass. Backing reduced spending would mean these GOP lawmakers would be on record supporting cuts to federal aid for farmers and veterans, which would undoubtedly be raised on the campaign trail by their Democratic opponents.

"It is going to be very problematic for many of them to have this record of supporting the far-right extremist agenda," Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., told reporters last week.

Even the two funding bills coming to the floor this week, which are reportedly considered less divisive, are proving difficult for many House Republicans to get behind.

Rep. Marc Molinaro, R-N.Y., voiced opposition to the fiscal 2024 funding bill for the FDA and Department of Agriculture because it would deny mail-order medication abortion access and slash federal nutrition programs.

When lawmakers return to Capitol Hill in September, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said there's likely to be "chaos" as they race to shore up government funding before the Oct. 1 deadline.

"At worst, the trajectory is to shut the government down," DeLauro told Politico. "And there are some who think that's OK."

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House Republicans are racing to build enough support among their members to pass a pair of annual spending bills ahead of their August recess and a looming government shutdown, according to Politico.
house, gop, spending, kevin mccarthy, joe biden, august, recess, government, shutdown
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2023-22-24
Monday, 24 July 2023 10:22 AM
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