House Freedom Caucus Makes Demands Ahead Of Budget Deadline

Although Republicans currently control just one chamber of Congress, that majority does come with some tangible political power when it comes to appropriating federal government spending.

The conservative House Freedom Caucus signaled this week that its members would exercise their influence by refusing to approve certain spending bills unless they address key issues including border security and allegations of weaponization within the Department of Justice.

In a press release on the matter, the caucus asserted that it is “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 spending.”

The statement made it clear, however, that lawmakers will have just a few days after Congress is back in session to approve or reject a dozen appropriation bills before current funding measures expire at the end of next month.

“Therefore, in the eventuality that Congress must consider a short-term extension of government funding through a Continuing Resolution, we 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,” the conservative legislators added.

While temporary stopgap bills have become the norm on Capitol Hill, the House Freedom Caucus signaled that it would resist such a measure this time around.

The statement concluded: “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. Lastly, we will oppose any blank check for Ukraine in any supplemental appropriations bill.”

In order to approve a continuing resolution, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) would likely need to abide by the House Freedom Caucus’ demands given his party’s slim majority in the chamber.

“Any short-term CR would only be necessary as a way to continue working through regular order on bills that include Republican priorities to lower spending in the bureaucracy and bring necessary changes to federal policy, and refocus our military to war-fighting capabilities and defense of our nation,” a McCarthy spokesperson explained.