House Republicans are bracing for a bruising showdown with the White House and the US Senate this fall as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy once again will have to decide how far he’s willing to go to assuage the demands of the far right members in his ranks.
On Tuesday, the House Freedom Caucus sent a clear signal that they must see all 12 appropriations bills totaled up and fired a warning shot to leadership to hold firm on the agreements made in an earlier deal to avoid government debt default.
“We want to see all 12 of the appropriations bills,” Freedom Caucus member Matt Rosendale, a Montana Republican, told reporters. “We want leadership to uphold their end of the deal.”
He added, “If leadership believes they are going to trickle these out two at a time, three a week, four a week, that is just not going to be feasible because we will never be able to see what the total spending is until the very end. And then when we then try to uphold our commitment, our word to the American people that we will not push spending beyond the 1.471 (trillion dollars) for non-defense discretionary.”
If lawmakers can’t reach a deal, it could lead to a shut down or a longer term stop gap measure that would just fund the federal government at the same levels it’s been at throughout the year. But, a stopgap measure is still a gamble. That’s because a provision in the bill to raise the debt ceiling in June would automatically inject a 1% cut if lawmakers fail to pass and sign into law all 12 appropriations bills. A stopgap measure would be subject to that cut, which would go into effect in April.