GOP leadership is proposing a funding bill to keep the government funded
One prominent conservative said those leaders weren't trying to oversell it
A top Republican congressman said Wednesday he believed a short term bill to keep the government open would pass on Thursday, saying “I think it’s in better shape than what’s being reported.”
“We don’t like it, it’s the proverbial ‘crap sandwich’ that they talk about but what’s the best move from here and we think it’s the way to go,” said Rep. Mark Walker, chairman of the large group of fiscal conservatives known as the Republican Study Committee.
The North Carolina Republican said “there wasn’t any kind of oversell” at Wednesday morning’s conference meeting on the continuing resolution to keep the government running. “There seemed to be a consensus with the cards that we have that this is the best way to play it.”
But Walker said going forward he’s not opposed to forcing Democrats to take the heat if there is a standoff over the same issues in February, but said his party needs to do a better job laying the groundwork.
“I think there is a growing consensus, whether it’s February or sometime, that we don’t want to be on this proverbial hamster wheel,” he said.
Walker said he thinks Republicans should begin messaging next week that they have done everything they can to avoid a shutdown.
“This is where we are, this is where we are heading, if Senate Democrats want to choose to do that, then we need to tell the American public this is a Democrat decision,” he said. “I know there’s like, wait a second, Republicans always get blamed one way or the other and I can understand the consensus – part of that is on our messaging. We have to say this is what Republicans are doing: We are holding the line. If Dems want to shut down the government this is their call.”
Democrats, meanwhile, have pointed out Republicans control Congress and the White House and should be running the show on keeping government open.
“We don’t have the majority. They have the majority. They have a responsibility,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer told CNN on Tuesday when asked about a possible government shutdown blame game.
But Walker emphasized that right now the right move is to pass the continuing resolution, which other conservatives weren’t as confident as Walker was Wednesday morning that those votes were there.
“Right now, they don’t have the votes,” Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told reporters Wednesday. Meadows added that House GOP leadership has no meetings scheduled with his group or has yet to offer any concessions.
CNN’s Tal Kopan and Manu Raju contributed to this report.