What to Know in Washington: House GOP Raise Threat of a Shutdown

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The House Freedom Caucus raised the risk of a federal government shutdown on Oct. 1 by rejecting to support “clean” stopgap spending legislation that leaders in both parties have said will be necessary, Billy House reports.

“We will oppose any attempt by Washington to revert to its old playbook of using a series of short-term funding extensions designed to push Congress up against a December deadline to force the passage of yet another monstrous, budget busting, pork filled, lobbyist handout omnibus spending bill at year’s end,” the caucus said yesterday in a statement.

These conservatives, who have battled with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), have outsized influence in the House, where Republicans hold only a narrow majority. Their demands would also face strong Democratic opposition.

Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg

McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have said any stopgap spending bill would be temporary, to give the two chambers more time to negotiate final spending bills by the end of the calendar year.

The Freedom Caucus, however, said it would fight a stop-gap bill that continues current spending levels and contains policies they oppose. They also said they would oppose any additional separate funding — including through a proposed supplemental spending package — that could be used as a “blank check” for continued Ukraine support.

The group also wants policy changes, such as inclusion of Republican border-security legislation and language to “address the unprecedented weaponization of the Justice Department and FBI.”

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To contact the reporter on this story: Katrice Eborn in Washington at keborn@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brandon Lee at blee@bgov.com

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