Freedom Caucus announces opposition to stopgap plan

The House Freedom Caucus took an official position against House Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-La.) plan to avert a government shutdown, which he will aim to pass with support from Democrats on Tuesday.

“The House Freedom Caucus opposes the proposed ‘clean’ Continuing Resolution as it contains no spending reductions, no border security, and not a single meaningful win for the American People,” the group said in its position statement, released Tuesday morning. “Republicans must stop negotiating against ourselves over fears of what the Senate may do with the promise ‘roll over today and we’ll fight tomorrow.'”

“While we remain committed to working with Speaker Johnson, we need bold change,” the Freedom Caucus added.

The position was unveiled after Johnson reportedly met with the House Freedom Caucus on Monday night, a highly unusual move for a Republican Speaker or party leader. But many of its members publicly expressed opposition to the bill, disappointed that it does not include spending cuts or attempt to extract conservative policy concessions from Democrats and the White House.

It also comes after GOP leaders announced Monday night that they will seek to fast-track the bill through a floor vote in order to avoid being torpedoed based on Republican opposition. But that will require support from two-thirds of the whole House, meaning relying on support from dozens of Democrats.

An official position from the Freedom Caucus requires support from 80 percent of the group, which has around three dozen members. But the caucus is not unified in opposition to the continuing resolution plan.

Freedom Caucus member Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) is an architect of the two-tiered stopgap funding plan.

Under the bill, part of government funding would run out Jan. 19, with the rest running out Feb. 2. Harris, like Johnson, has argued that the two-step plan is the best way to avert a massive omnibus funding package pushed by the Senate, and allows Congress more time to negotiate on fiscal 2024 funding.

“The two-step CR is a way to get the broken appropriations process back on track without resulting in a massive omnibus spending bill,” Harris said over the weekend in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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