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House GOP’s short-term funding deal already pilloried by far-right Republicans

A deal to temporarily fund the government, announced Sunday by House Republicans, is already facing resistance from far-right members of their party, complicating the path Republican leaders had hoped to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month.

By Monday morning, at least a dozen Republicans had publicly expressed opposition to the pending resolution negotiated by members of two Republican factions over the weekend – posting on social media a simple “NO” has “I’m a HARD NO!” has slamming the short-term funding bill as “a continuation of Nancy Pelosi’s budget and Joe Biden’s policies.”

The proposed legislation would keep the government in office until Oct. 31 and trigger a 1 percent cut from current budget levels, according to the plan released just before lawmakers’ briefing Sunday evening. The 1 percent reduction is average for the federal budget. The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs would receive no cuts, while other government agencies would see their budgets cut by 50 percent. 8 percent until the end of October.

Among the lawmakers who said they would not support keeping the resolution was Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia), a far-right Republican who has become a strong ally of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-R-Georgia). California). Greene criticized the bill for not including enough conservative policies, including a controversial program to check the immigration status of workers.

“No political endorsement in the Czech Republic. So this is all the policies from last year’s Democratic appropriations, with an 8% reduction,” Greene said. job on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday evening. “Plus the border bill, but no E-Verify. I am NO. »

Growing public opposition from the far right to the resolution proposed by Republican lawmakers undermined what had been seen as a small victory after a chaotic week for the House Republican Conference. McCarthy hopes to show a united conservative front before the inevitable negotiations with the Senate.

After a chaotic week, House returns home with government shutdown on the horizon

On Monday, McCarthy suggested the House would remain in session until next weekend, a sign that Republican leaders will need plenty of time to build support for a government funding bill. Congress has until September 30 to reach an agreement on funding next year’s budget or much of the government will be shut down.

“It’s not the 30th (September). We have a long way to go. We have a lot of different ideas,” McCarthy told reporters when asked if he would be willing to work with Democrats to pass a stopgap funding measure. “Within our conference we can work on this and solve this problem.”

He also downplayed opposition within his party to the pending resolution, suggesting that perhaps some of the holdouts had not yet read the bill. The speaker repeatedly emphasized that the continuing package of resolutions was crafted by ideologically diverse members of the Republican Party.

“We have gathered a number of members. I led it from the bottom up,” McCarthy said, citing the names of those who had worked on the package: Reps. Dusty Johnson (SD), Stephanie I. Bice (Oklahoma) and Pragmatic’s Kelly Armstrong (ND). Hand. Street caucus; and Reps. Scott Perry (Pa.), Chip Roy (Tex.) and Byron Donalds (Fla.) of the Freedom Caucus.

Their goal now, McCarthy said, was “to explain to all members” why a 30-day continuing resolution was essential for the GOP appropriations bills.

“We have the most conservative bills,” McCarthy said. “We want to make sure we are able to reduce spending and secure the border. So we’re going to talk at our conference to see if we can move forward.

McCarthy can’t afford to lose much of his party’s support to get the 218 Republican votes needed to pass the bill. Due to medical and family absences, McCarthy’s four-vote margin in the House could be reduced even further in the coming days. Among those likely to miss a vote this week is Rep. Frank D. Lucas (R-Okla.), who is recovering from surgery.

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.), who had a baby last month, said noted that she would return to Washington if necessary – to vote against the current resolution.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who would support a continuing resolution and is undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma, said last week that he would go so far as to receive chemotherapy in the House to ensure he is present for a vote. . Given the conservative provisions included in the proposal, Democrats are not expected to contribute to the bill’s passage.

“It’s hard to get everything passed here,” McCarthy said. “We started with a majority of five seats. I had a member who has now resigned. We have a few members who are also absent. Everything we do is quite difficult in life.

Missing from the proposal are President Biden’s demands for more than $20 billion in aid to Ukraine and $16 billion in disaster relief. Senate Democratic and Republican leaders have said they will allocate money for these issues in any short-term funding bill. Several conservative demands are also expected to be rejected by the Senate, pitting the two chambers against each other with less than a dozen days to avoid a partial government shutdown.

Although McCarthy has often tried to appease his far-right flank, he also must win the support of vulnerable incumbents representing swing districts in his conference to ensure funding bills pass. Deep spending reductions from current budget levels would fuel Democratic attack ads highlighting how those Republicans voted for cuts to education, food safety inspection and more.

Others at the conference remain unconvinced because of policy differences, highlighting how difficult it will be for House Republican leaders and their allies to win enough support just to send a bill to the floor. Senate, where it is expected to be rejected.

Approval of a short-term funding bill is the first hurdle that will test McCarthy’s leadership. If the House and Senate manage to send a compromise bill to the president’s desk – an outcome that currently has no outcome given the House’s conservative demands – then Congress will have to reach an agreement on how to finance the government for the entire budget year. year.

Each step comes with demands from far-right lawmakers on political fronts, which continues to make it difficult for leaders to determine what might pass through their narrow Republican ranks.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus, including those who now support the short-term funding bill, have publicly suggested they would support a motion to release McCarthy from his post as speaker if he relies on House Democrats House to pass bills they want approved only by the Republican majority.

Leigh Ann Caldwell contributed to this report.


An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene represented California. She represents Georgia. The article has been corrected.


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