Despite House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s repeated calls to return to regular order in the budget processes, yet another continuing resolution seems imminent.
As spending bills remain stalled and the Sept. 30 deadline grows nearer, Republican lawmakers are already at odds on how to handle the prospect of another CR. In particular, the length of the span of the CR, a stopgap measure designed to keep the government funded at current spending levels, could prove to be a point of contention within the GOP when Congress returns from its seven-week recess.
According to Virginia Rep. Dave Brat, while the House Freedom Caucus hasn’t voted on the matter yet, the majority of conservatives would like to see a measure that runs through early next year – after a new president has been sworn into office.
“The CR is going to the the main issue that we have to grapple with, and the House Freedom Caucus is fairly supportive of the idea that we don’t wan’t to end up in a lame duck – so we’re going to push pretty hard for the March date,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation following a HFC meeting Monday evening. “After the last two years of nonsense with the cromnibus and omnibus, I don’t think we are going to play games this time around.”
Critics of the March deadline have argued Congress should finish their work before the new fiscal year starts on Oct. 1. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers told the press it would appear as if they were “waving the white flag” on completing the task at hand if they pass a March stop-gap.
Despite the slim chance of all 12 spending bills coming to the floor for a vote before the deadline hits, Ryan says Republican leaders will continue to try and get as much of the appropriations process done as they can.
“We are currently focused on getting through as many individual appropriations bills as possible,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong told TheDCNF in an email.
Discussions on how to best handle appropriations are expected to be ongoing.
“We’ve shared out position and I don’t think we’ve reached a consensus on that with them [leadership] yet,” Brat told TheDCNF. “But we never do, leadership never shows their hand on what they are going to do on the budget, and we’re not in regular order. The American people, I think, deserve to know where the budget stands and what out party is doing to do moving forward.”
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