A government shutdown is imminent, but Republican messaging on the reason for the spending standoff is inconsistent thanks to the Senate GOP, which plans to greenlight the Biden administration’s cash infusion.
If Democrats get their way, Congress will send at least $13 billion taxpayer dollars to Ukraine, something a majority of U.S. taxpayers say they don’t want to do, and spend another estimated $27 billion cash on unspecified “emergency funding.”
Some GOP members in the lower chamber have pledged to do everything they can to ensure they are not funding a regime that weaponized itself against its own people.
The House Freedom Caucus specifically warned in August that its members won’t support a GOP-led continuing resolution unless both chambers agree to cut back Biden administration spending, pass policies and funding to curb the raging border crisis, punish the Biden regime for its “unprecedented weaponization of the Justice Department and FBI,” and end blank check funding for Ukraine.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy expressed hesitation about their plan because, according to him, a government shutdown means a pause on “investigations and everything else” like Republicans’ impeachment inquiry, which he says “hurts the American public.”
McCarthy’s dilemma sounds like a recipe for disappointment. His feelings about the Democrats’ spending plan, however, are no match for the Senate GOP’s flat refusal to do anything that would benefit its constituents and unify Republican messaging.
The Senate GOP has an opportunity to force Democrats’ hand by using the threat of a government shutdown to pass policies that would slow or even stop the Biden administration’s destructive streak.
Instead, Republican leaders in the upper chamber are using their influence to eviscerate House Republicans for daring to oppose the Biden administration’s spending wish list.
While Democrats’ big-buck desires will be readily fulfilled if Republicans sign off on their plan, the GOP is stuck trying to sell keeping the federal government open as the one prize they can take from the negotiating table.
“The speaker and the president reached an agreement, which I supported, in connection with raising the debt ceiling, to set the spending levels for next year,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a speech in Kentucky shortly before he experienced yet another zoning out episode. “The House then turned around and passed spending levels that were below that level. … [T]hat’s not going to be replicated in the Senate.”
McConnell ally Sen. John Cornyn, who is rumored to be in the running to eventually replace the Senate GOP Leader, repeated this sentiment on X on Monday.
“The federal government will shut down in less than a month unless a funding bill is passed by Sept. 30. That’s only 16 legislative days away (and even fewer for the House) under the current schedule. The House and Senate are in completely different universes when it comes to how lawmakers should fund federal agencies in both the short and long term,” Cornyn wrote.
The Senate GOP’s staunch refusal to force a Democrat reconciliation with crises created by their president and his administration means Republicans are playing right into Democrats’ hands.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer admitted as much in a Sept. 1 letter to his Democrat colleagues.
“We cannot afford the brinkmanship or hostage-taking we saw from House Republicans earlier this year when they pushed our country to the brink of default to appease the most extreme
members of their party,” he wrote.
Schumer claimed the “only way to avoid a shutdown is through bipartisanship,” aka with the cooperation of spineless Senate Republicans. His hope is that the House GOP will simply cave to upper chamber pressure and “follow the Senate’s lead and pass bipartisan appropriations bills.”
The White House similarly signaled that the Senate GOP’s cooperation means a government shutdown could be blamed on “extreme House members.”
“The last thing the American people deserve is for extreme House members to trigger a government shutdown that hurts our economy, undermines our disaster preparedness, and forces our troops to work without guaranteed pay,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement.
Nothing would make the MAGA-hating coalition of McConnell-esque Republicans more happy than to see their House colleagues shoulder the blame for the shutdown while they fulfill their Ukraine funding fantasies.
Senate GOP leaders have already proven they are more than willing to sacrifice their voters to stay in Democrats’ good graces. Their track record suggests they are merely Democrats’ managed opposition instead of true opponents of the radical left.
In just the last two years, GOP senators joined forces to throw Republican Senate races, join Democrat-led attacks on the Second Amendment, dogpile their colleague for fighting the Biden administration’s taxpayer-funded abortion for all agenda, continue funding the federal agencies persecuting Americans including the leader of their party, do nothing about bombshell evidence of Biden family corruption, and refuse to condemn Democrats’ 2024 election rigging indictment scheme.
If House and Senate Republicans don’t take action now, they risk enabling the Biden administration’s attacks on its country, citizens, and the Constitution. Unfortunately, the Republicans running the GOP side of the Senate don’t care.