Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson berates GOP hardliners who use the threat of a government shutdown to stop President Barack Obama's "overreaching policies" on immigration and Obamacare as undermining the rest of the party.
"[T]oo many of my colleagues in Congress … view gridlock and obstructionism as a means to appease the politically pure and point fingers at anyone who seeks a different solution," Simpson writes in a statement on his website
While Simpson — who withstood a tea party challenge last year — says he agrees with the "conservative principles" in the debate, he opposes the tactics of a "faction of my Republican colleagues" who "see obstructionist tactics like shutting down the government, or one of its most important agencies, as just another tool" in the building of a "manufactured" crisis.
Simpson's reference was primarily aimed at members of the Freedom Caucus, The Hill reports
Simpson, a senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, notes the threat of shutting down the government over the defunding of Obamacare in 2013 achieved no policy goals — and has actually given Democrats more leverage "in the absence of a united Republican Party."
"They represent a segment of our caucus that would rather shut down the government than show the American people we can actually govern," he says of the group of hardliners, suggesting they are risking a "critical and extremely short window of time" left to Republicans before the next election cycle.
"My pro-shutdown colleagues project Constitutional principles but they're conveniently forgetting their own Constitutional responsibilities to fund the U.S. Government and, 'provide for the common defense,' " he writes.
"My pro-shutdown colleagues supported [Ohio Republican Rep.] John Boehner for speaker, before opposing him, then supporting him again, and now criticizing him. By undermining Republican leadership at every turn, the pro-shutdown minority has compromised our ability to pass conservative priorities that focuses on governing efficiently and effectively."
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