Republicans in Congress say they won’t back down from a fight over the budget and will make sure conservative policies are put in place, despite warnings from Democrats that they will reject the bill and shut down the government.
The 2-year budget deal signed by Obama last week ensures that the government won’t shut down until mid-December, but Congress still has to assign the money to federal agencies and programs by December 11th. The next step, and likely fight, will be over how to implement the budget deal.
Democrats are warning that if Republicans decide to attach conservative policy provisions such as defunding Planned Parenthood, the Environmental Protection Agency, or Obamacare, they will reject the bill and shut down the government.
But some Republicans say they are not worried about having a confrontation with Democrats over attaching appropriations that are in line with conservatives principles. They say they’re ready to fight.
“England didn’t just hand the United States our freedom; it had to be fought for” Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told Breitbart News. “The ‘big government’ control freaks in Washington are not going to just give Americans their freedom either.” He added that, “It will require a dedicated fight and will, likewise, be worth the fight.”
Rep. Jim Jordan told Breitbart News that this is Congress’ time to show the American people whose side they’re on.
“Fighting for conservative policies in any appropriations bills will show that Republicans are finally starting to listen to ordinary Americans who feel that this town has forgotten them” said Jordan.
“The American people are sick and tired of Congress spending more each year on lobbyists’ priorities, while kicking the can down the road on actual reforms” Jordan added. “We need to articulate a conservative vision that shows we understand what’s wrong in America and have a plan to solve those problems.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has warned Republicans that a bill with conservative policy provisions, which he calls “poison pill riders,” will not be passed by Democrats and will lead to a government shutdown.
“Now, the path forward to avoid a shutdown is very simple,” warned Schumer on Tuesday after a Senate Democrat Policy luncheon. “We don’t have time to do individual bills, we should pass an omnibus bill that steers clear of poison pill riders.”
“So rather than playing with fire and attempting to insert poison pill riders that will bog down individual appropriations bills, Republicans should move quickly to complete negotiations on an omnibus bill that skips the riders and fully funds our national and economic security.”
The situation will be a test for Paul Ryan (R-WI) who just replaced John Boehner as Speaker of the House. Ryan can either risk a fight with Democrats and put together a spending bill that satisfies the various conservative factions, or play nice with Democrats and risk a fight with Republicans.
Ryan has so far said that he is open to the idea of attaching a policy provision that strips funding for Planned Parenthood, something that Democrats have repeatedly warned against.
Former House Speaker John Boehner refused to fight for defunding Planned Parenthood, so many Republicans will be looking to see whether Ryan is willing to fight for a cause important to many conservatives.
Although Ryan says he’s open to putting up a fight for conservative principles, he appears to be lowering expectations.
“I think we need to be very clear about what it is we can and cannot achieve and not set expectations that we know we can’t reach, given the constraints of the Constitution,” he said on CNN’s State of the Union.
The bill will need President Obama’s signature by December 11, 2015 in order to avoid a government shutdown.