WASHINGTON — Conservative lawmakers in the House say they want a fight over spending—including restricting funding for President Obama’s new executive orders on immigration—when Republicans officially take over control of both sides of Congress next year.
During the monthly “Conversations with Conservatives” meeting on Capitol Hill Tuesday, these lawmakers said there seems to be a general consensus to pass a short-term spending bill to keep the government running, and to set up a real spending fight early next year.
They want to vote on restricting funding to the Department of Homeland Security — which will implement Obama’s executive order — and other areas of the government when Republicans take over the Senate in January.
“The cavalry is coming,” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said of the newly-elected Republicans in the House and Senate. “I’d much rather deal with some of these issues when we have those kind of majorities in the House and Senate in January.”
With the government poised to shut down again if President Obama and Congress are unable to agree on a spending plan, Speaker of the House John Boehner is expected to push a spending bill over the next week that funds most of the government until Sept. 30 of next year.
But some conservatives, like Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp, prefer a route that allows Congress to take up the issues with the new Congress in January.
“We won a major election,” Huelskamp said. “It makes no sense to punt most of our appropriations until October and let these agencies and this president continue to set policy when clearly the American people said no.”
Speaking of the idea to fund DHS until March, Huelskamp said: “That seems way too long. I’m of the opinion…‘gosh darn-it, let’s get to work in January.’”
Louisiana Rep. John Fleming agreed.
“Why would we extend a continuing resolution until the end of March on DHS?” he said. “Why not vote on the first day we’re back in the new year, when we have all our troops in place in the Senate?”