Senate Republicans Stand Firm Against House Freedom Caucus Demands, Risking Fall Government Shutdown


There is a greater chance that the government will shut down this autumn, as Senate Republicans are indicating that they are not in the mood to support conservative House Freedom Caucus members who are seeking significant Democratic concessions in the yearly budget legislation.

Senate Republicans backed Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wholeheartedly earlier this year when he requested spending reductions and other reforms in exchange for lifting the country’s debt ceiling.

Senate sources, however, warn House Republicans not to count on the same backing for their attempts to reduce the top-line annual discretionary spending figure from the amount agreed to by McCarthy and President Biden in late May as the fight for control of the Senate becomes more intense.

Republicans in the Senate will also be of little assistance to House conservatives in their efforts to link funding bills to ambitious conservative initiatives like the Secure the Border Act, which was enacted by the House.

Former top Senate Republican staffer David Cleary predicted that Senate Republicans “are going to want to avoid a shutdown. Republicans are not benefited by government shutdowns. 

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Unintended Consequences

The brief government shutdown that occurred in January 2018 as a result of Democrats’ refusal to support spending legislation that didn’t address the legal status of immigrants who entered the country illegally as children, known as Dreamers, was the only time Chuck Schumer tried to shut down the government that it partially backfired, he claimed.

Republicans are to blame “every other time the government shuts down,” he declared, particularly when they publicly brag about it. The Senate Republicans, in my opinion, “would pass a clean [continuing resolution].”

He said that some of the ambitious requests being made by the House Freedom Caucus that have no chance of becoming legislation are likely seen as “fundamentally ridiculous” by Senate Republican leaders.

According to Cleary, “the leverage doesn’t exist” to significantly lower the top-line expenditure figure that Biden and McCarthy agreed to earlier this year, add a border security measure that was approved by the House, or rein in the Department of Justice for pursuing the former President Trump.

Senate Republican sources claim that the Senate GOP conference has no interest in introducing budget legislation that has little chance of receiving enough Democratic votes to clear the chamber’s typical 60-vote barrier.

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Source: The Hill

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