House Conservatives Express Discontent Over Being Sidelined in Funding Debate

( – With a government shutdown appearing unlikely, some Republican lawmakers have come to terms with their inability to force the inclusion of provisions and spending cuts in upcoming government funding bills. Others have grown frustrated.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus have pushed for many of the same measures since the beginning of the 118th Congress, without much success. Securing the southern border has been one of the toughest feats, as the Biden administration and the Democrats have no interest in taking meaningful action to curb the flow of illegal migration into the country.

While the hardliners have prevented any long-term budget deals from coming to fruition, some are not happy about kicking the can down the road either. Virginia Republican Representative Bob Good warned that Republicans could lose support from voters if they are unable to follow through on campaign promises like “cutting spending and securing the border.” Reps. Eli Crane, R-Ariz., and Chip Roy, R-Texas, both appeared to offer grace to Speaker Johnson for wanting to avoid a shutdown but also prevent flagrant Democratic spending. None of the hardliners have mentioned bringing a motion to vacate the chair to the House floor, which only requires one member to start the process.

Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz encouraged his colleagues to reject the continuing resolution endorsed by Speaker Johnson on February 29. He pointed out that Congress’s checkbook did not reflect a Republican majority. He compared House Republicans’ lawmaking to “watching a football team whose best play is the punt and the block.” However, the House ultimately passed the measure to prevent a March 1 partial shutdown, pushing the funding deadlines to March 8 and March 22.

North Carolina Republican Representative Patrick McHenry, who chairs the Financial Services Committee, said that Johnson’s decision to move forward with a spending deal was inevitable. Johnson’s spokesperson told The Hill that he has been honest with the hardliners about the slim chances of getting everything they want but has encouraged them to take pride in the small victories that will be apparent in the spending bills.

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