Updated Sep 17, 2023, 10:41pm EDT

Conservatives shoot down new GOP deal to avert shutodwn

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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A deal between two key House Republican factions to temporarily avert a government shutdown looked shaky after it was announced Sunday night and immediately came under fire from conservatives.

“I will not support this 167 page surrender to Joe Biden,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. told one reporter.

Struck after weeks of talks, the agreement between the hardline House Freedom Caucus and establishment-friendly Main Street Caucus would fund the government for an extra month while enacting much of the GOP’s marquee border security bill, H.R. 2, minus a controversial E-Verify proposal.

Lawmakers looked to take up the measure in tandem with a defense appropriations bill that’s been stalled in the House and includes “several strong” Department of Homeland Security riders aimed at securing the border. The temporary funding bill would include a nearly 1% cut from this year’s non-defense discretionary spending levels while holding veterans and military funding at current levels.

But the measure appeared to lack enough support for passage after a number of right-wing Republicans voiced their opposition Sunday night. Along with Gaetz, Reps. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., Eli Crane, R-Ariz, and Tim Burchett, R-Tenn. also came out as hard no’s against the proposal, while additional lawmakers suggested they’d likely reject it.


“No [continuing resolution]. Pass the damn approps bills. Roll back the crazy bureaucracy to pre-COVID levels. Now,” Bishop tweeted.

Others, such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene voiced misgivings about the measure during a Sunday GOP conference call. The Georgia lawmaker said it would be a “bad look” to fund the government with a continuing resolution.

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Three leaders of the Main Street Caucus — Reps. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., Stephanie Bice, R-Okla., and Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D. — said they planned to work on generating support to pass the bill in the coming days.

“Congress must keep government open and secure the border. That’s why we’ve worked with leaders of the House Freedom Caucus to introduce a 31-day continuing resolution laser-focused on fixing the crisis at our southern border,” the trio said in a statement.

The push follows after weeks of ongoing talks between Johnson and House Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry, R-Pa., as well as other representatives of the House GOP’s “Five Families,” as the conference’s various factions are sometimes called. The group had what appeared to be a breakthrough last week after determining Republicans could rally around border security.

Even if the proposal does manage to overcome its current hurdles in the House, it would likely be rejected out of hand by the Democrat-controlled Senate.

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This article has been updated since publication to reflect new developments.