- House Republicans have indicated that they will not support an effort to temporarily fund the government after Nov. 17 unless it contains policy concessions along with cuts to public spending.
- The House must pass seven of twelve remaining appropriations bills, while the Senate is yet to pass any of them, before Nov. 17 to avoid a government shutdown.
- “Between an eight and thirty percent cut,” said Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania’s 10th District to The Daily Caller News Foundation, adding that he wanted the effort to re-examine Medicare and Social Security.
Several top House Republicans have indicated that they will not support another continuing resolution to fund the government after Nov. 17 unless it includes policy concessions on border security and large cuts to discretionary spending, according to their comments to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The House Republican Conference has resolved to pass 12 separate appropriations bills to fund the government for the 2024 fiscal year, a lengthy process that was not completed by Sept. 30, leading to the enactment of a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown. With no appropriations bill having been passed by both houses of Congress, a process that members warn cannot be completed before Nov. 17, House Republicans have insisted that any new continuing resolution have deep spending cuts to discretionary spending, such as social programs, and include a commission to study reforming Social Security, members told the DCNF.
“I think it is likely that we’re going to have to have some kind of stopgap measure on this tendency. I say that reluctantly,” said Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, who is also the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, to the DCNF. “I don’t intend to vote to continue the same level of funding for the same legislative priorities that I voted against under Speaker Pelosi last December,” he added, indicating that he would like to see “between an eight and thirty percent cut” to government spending.
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September’s continuing resolution, which was supported by all Democrats but only some Republicans and fiercely opposed by certain conservatives, prompted Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida to begin an effort to remove then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy from office, which succeeded after a vote to “vacate the chair” on Oct. 3. For three weeks thereafter, the House attempted several times to elect a speaker, which failed repeatedly amid opposition to Republican nominees from within their own conference, until Oct. 25, during which time no legislation was considered.
Perry noted that the continuing resolution would have to run longer than expected, due to the end of the year. “I don’t think thirty days is going to be enough because we’ll pass it in the middle of November and that would put us right before Christmas,” he said, referring to a time when Congress recesses for the end of the year, adding that “anything we’re looking at is gonna have to stretch out into the new year at some level.”
Perry, furthermore, indicated that any such resolution would need conditional policy measures to get support from Republicans.
“That would probably include something like a bill on border security and a debt commission provision that would appoint members to look at Social Security and Medicare. Both of those programs are financially in peril,” he said.
Perry’s comments were echoed by Republican Rep. Bob Good of Virginia, who told the DCNF that the House “may have to consider some kind of conditional C.R.” He pointed to a proposed bill in September — which cut non-defense and discretionary spending, primarily social programs, by 30% and was fiercely opposed by Democrats — as the “template” for a bill that could gain support from the House Republican Conference.
“We should not do an unconditional C.R., which would make our fiscal situation that much worse,” Good added.
Others in the conference, meanwhile, take a different approach. A spokesperson for Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky told the DCNF he supports a longer C.R. that would give the House time to negotiate with the Senate on spending bills for next fiscal year, arguing that the looming threat of a shutdown undermines the GOP’s negotiating position.
“Congressman Massie supports a 1-year C.R. to avoid a shutdown and to use the built-in 1% cut negotiated in the debt deal to force the Senate to come to the table to pass the 12 appropriations bills,” the spokesperson wrote.
Even as some Republicans remain divided on the idea of a continuing resolution, they predict it will likely be passed to avoid a shutdown at any cost, particularly given their conference’s poor reputation following the difficult process of electing a speaker.
“I can tell you that we will not have a shutdown on November 17. I do not believe that our Republican colleagues have the wherewithal to do that in the wake of the speaker’s debate,” said Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas in remarks shared with the DCNF.
In tandem, House Republicans have sought to blame the Senate for having not yet passed any of the five appropriations sent to them by the House. The Senate is currently in the process of considering H.R. 4366, a “minibus” bill that combines three of the appropriations bills delivered to them, but with amendments that the House will have to consider before the bills are sent to the president.
“The problem is that the Senate is in the exact same position they were three weeks ago … zero spending bills passed,” said Good. “[For] all this talk about the House that ‘this is chaos,’ ‘this is embarrassing,’ ‘this is a clown show,’ the Senate has not done its work,” he noted.
“We must not surrender to the Senate,” he said.
The White House and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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