Thursday 22 February 2024

House Freedom Caucus Offers Spending Back-Up Plan To ‘Save Americans $100 Billion’

 A group of House conservatives are requesting an update from Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) on spending negotiations ahead of yet another set of deadlines that could trigger a government shutdown and suggested a back-up plan that could trigger across-the-board spending cuts if they don’t win policy concessions.

Members of the Freedom Caucus led by Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) sent a letter to Johnson on Wednesday as a stopgap measure is set to expire in two stages, with funds approved for some federal agencies though March 1 and money to other departments through March 8, and the fiscal 2024 appropriations process remains incomplete.

“With the expiration of government funding rapidly approaching, negotiations continue behind closed doors and as a result, we anticipate text for likely omnibus legislation that we fear will be released at the latest moment before being rushed to the floor for a vote,” they wrote. “House Republicans should not be left in the dark on the status of the spending levels and hard-fought policy provisions.”

The conservative lawmakers said they want an update on spending talks, “including but not limited to, the provisions supported by the overwhelming majorities of Republicans and our constitutions,” such as language related to cracking down on border security, student loan forgiveness, gender transition surgeries, “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion” orders, and many other issues.


Last year’s debt limit deal, called the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), stipulated a 1% cut to defense and non-defense programs in line with fiscal 2023 levels if Congress fails to pass 12 appropriations bills. The snapback is expected to be enforced if lawmakers cannot meet an April 30 deadline.

Democrats are sure to oppose such a broad cut-back, but Freedom Caucus members appeared open to the idea as they said the “far from perfect” FRA “offered a meaningful step towards restoring regular order, and presented an opportunity to reduce spending and reverse many of President [Joe] Biden’s harmful policies.”

They concluded the letter by asking, “If we are not going to secure significant policy changes or even keep spending below the caps adopted by bipartisan majorities less than one year ago, why would we proceed when we could instead pass a year-long funding resolution that would save Americans $100 billion in year one?”

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