The conservative House Freedom Caucus on Monday declared on social media site X that it will oppose any stopgap government funding bill that doesn’t include border policy measures and fails to address Department of Justice and “woke” military policies.
Ahead of its stunning press release, The Hill noted the hardliners’ stance against a “clean” continuing resolution follows Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., alerting House GOP members that he expects to move a short-term government funding measure Sept. 30.
The Freedom Caucus demands on the continuing resolution now puts pressure on House GOP leaders who can only lose a handful of votes before needing Democrat support to pass any bills, The Hill noted.
The approximate three dozen Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus are more than enough to sink any party-line measure.
The Freedom Caucus release asserts it will “refuse to support any such measure that continues Democrats’ bloated COVID-era spending and simultaneously fails to force the Biden Administration to follow the law and fulfill its most basic responsibilities.”
And it points out “any support for a ‘clean’ Continuing Resolution would be an affirmation of the current FY 2023 spending level grossly increased by the lame-duck December 2022 omnibus spending bill that we all vehemently opposed just seven months ago.”
The hardline group declared its members will oppose any spending measure that doesn’t target three policy areas: the border, the “weaponization” of the DOJ and the FBI, and “woke” Pentagon policies.
It also wants any stopgap to “include the House-passed ‘Secure the Border Act of 2023’ to cease the unchecked flow of illegal migrants, combat the evils of human trafficking, and stop the flood of dangerous fentanyl into our communities.”
The GOP-majority House passed border legislation in May that boosted border technology, restarted border wall construction, and added new restrictions on asylum seekers.
The Freedom Caucus called on lawmakers to “address the unprecedented weaponization of the Justice Department and FBI to focus them on prosecuting real criminals instead of conducting political witch hunts and targeting law-abiding citizens.”
In addition it demanded the “end the Left’s cancerous woke policies in the Pentagon undermining our military’s core warfighting mission.”
Freedom Caucus members already have pushed for amendments to the annual defense authorization bill to reverse the Pentagon’s policy of reimbursing travel expenses for service members who get abortions; barring the Pentagon from paying for transgender medical care; and gutting diversity and inclusion programs.
In the Monday release, the hardliners signaled their concern about getting cornered into an omnibus spending measure through a continuing resolution bumping up against a deadline.
“Furthermore, we will oppose any attempt by Washington to revert to its old playbook of using a series of short-term funding extensions designed to push Congress up against a December deadline to force the passage of yet another monstrous, budget busting, pork filled, lobbyist handout omnibus spending bill at year’s end and we will use every procedural tool necessary to prevent that outcome,” the Freedom Caucus stated.
The House is in session for just three weeks before the Sept. 30 government funding deadline, and has passed just one of 12 regular appropriation bills, The Hill noted.
“As Congress continues to work to pass appropriations bills, we must rein in the reckless inflationary spending, and the out-of-control federal bureaucracy it funds, crushing the American people,” the official Freedom Caucus position said.
“We remain committed to restoring the true FY 2022 topline spending level of $1.471 trillion without the use of gimmicks or reallocated rescissions to return the bureaucracy to its pre-COVID size while allowing for adequate defense funding.”
The Freedom Caucus also signaled opposition to President Joe Biden’s supplemental appropriations request for an additional $24 billion to assist Ukraine in its war fighting off a Russian invasion, declaring: “Lastly, we will oppose any blank check for Ukraine in any supplemental appropriations bill.”
Fran Beyer ✉
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