Freedom Caucus Demands Spending Cuts in Exchange for Continued Funding

The House Freedom Caucus issued a list of demands on Monday, which they described as conditions for them to support a continuing resolution. Stopgap spending deals have become a yearly spectacle in Congress as funds are exhausted at the end fiscal year, which is September 30th, before any new appropriations are determined. A government shutdown is an alternative, which Democrats in power and the media use to create bad press against fiscally responsible Republicans.

Politico reports both Democrat Congressional leaders and Republican Congressional leadership have admitted previously the need for a Continuing Resolution. Politico described the list as a “not surprising” “headache” to Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R, Calif.). The outlet acknowledged, however, that McCarthy is already onboard with some of the agenda. “McCarthy repeatedly vowed he wouldn’t take up a spending package that would combine all 12 bills into one mammoth bill.”

What are the demands of these roughly three dozen conservative representatives in exchange for spending resolutions being passed? Take a look.

The HFC states in its introduction that “As Congress works to pass appropriations legislation, we must rein in the reckless inflationary expenditure and the out-of-control federal bureaucracy they fund, crushing the American public.” We are committed to returning the topline FY 2022 spending level to $1.471 trillion, without using gimmicks and reallocated rescissions. This would allow for adequate funding of defense. It will be difficult to get the establishment to return to crisis-level expenditure, but it is good that some brave politicians are willing to give it a go.

The HFC went on to list their demands as a condition for approving appropriations bills.

We will oppose all spending measures that fail to…

  1. Include the House-passed “Secure the Border Act of 2023” to cease the unchecked flow of illegal migrants, combat the evils of human trafficking, and stop the flood of dangerous fentanyl into our communities;
  2. Address the unprecedented weaponization of the Justice Department and FBI to focus them on prosecuting real criminals instead of conducting political witch hunts and targeting law-abiding citizens; and
  3. End the Left’s cancerous woke policies in the Pentagon undermining our military’s core warfighting mission.

All of those measures should never even have had to be in question, but the U.S. government is badly adrift at this time. The conservative caucus wasn’t done, though. “Furthermore,” the statement goes on,” 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 and we will use every procedural tool necessary to prevent that outcome.” You can’t say no one warned you, Congress. So what’s the plan for passing spending appropriations in a measured, timely manner this year?

There’s more! The cherry on top was transparency and oversight: “Last but not least, we will oppose a blank check to Ukraine in any supplemental budget bill”, declared the conservatives.

It is absurd and tragic that these issues must be demanded. It’s absurd and tragic that only a few of the 541 members of Congress, let alone the executive branch, will insist on these issues. The Freedom Caucus must have the courage and strength to stand firm through this ugly political season.