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In Federal Spending Fight, House Republicans Have Only One Acceptable Tack: No Security, No Funding

The ‘power of the purse’ is the most effective tool we possess to force an out-of-control executive branch to end its abuses.


Americans of all stripes find the current state of the country to be unacceptable; in fact, 74 percent of Americans said we are headed in the wrong direction in a recent poll. It isn’t hard to see why. The federal government is limiting prosperity by refusing to uphold its basic constitutional duties to secure Americans and is constantly meddling in our lives.

Our Constitution provides a framework for a federal government that will “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” yet it is not doing so. Our southern border is run by cartels, and the human crisis is causing death and destruction from Texas to New York. Rather than carrying out a war against fentanyl, human trafficking, and organized crime, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is targeting American citizens who dare oppose it. The Department of Defense (DOD) focuses less on warfighting capability and more on divisive ideology. As Covid tyranny ramps up again, reckless spending is sabotaging economic stability while fantasy energy policies destroy the American dream.

The status quo is unacceptable, and House Republicans are constitutionally empowered and duty-bound to demand change. The “power of the purse” is the most effective tool we possess to force an out-of-control executive branch to end its abuses and focus only on its core functions. Thus, when federal funding expires on Sept. 30, we must stand in unison and declare, “No security, no funding.”

The best way to address those problems is by both cutting funding for the federal bureaucracy and passing limits on how that funding may be used. But the swamp machine wants to spend and regulate more — as evidenced by the so-called “debt deal” jammed through after Memorial Day, since which we’ve added nearly $1.5 trillion in debt. That deal also ensured we will not pass 12 responsible full-year appropriations bills in time; thus, we will be asked to support a “short-term” funding measure known as a continuing resolution (CR) at current spending levels to “buy time.”

To be clear, a vote for such a CR is a vote for the status quo — i.e., a “continuation” of bloated post-Covid spending levels and anti-security policies contained in last year’s $1.7 trillion “omnibus” spending bill, which was negotiated and passed in a Democrat trifecta — inexplicably with the help of 18 Senate Republicans. That’s why my House Freedom Caucus colleagues and I pledged to oppose such a CR unless it makes actual strides to reverse course and promote American security — notably, by at least addressing border security, undoing the weaponization of the DOJ, and refocusing the DOD on securing America.

Dereliction of Duty

First, the devastation caused by President Joe Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas’ willful dereliction of their duty to secure the border cannot go unchecked any longer. Fentanyl is pouring across our border and killing 200 Americans every single day, children are being sold into the sex-trafficking trade, criminal cartels control our borders, hundreds of migrants are dying, and communities across the country — already struggling from rampant crime and inflation — are overrun and begging for help.

In May, the House passed the Secure the Border Act of 2023 (H.R. 2) — the strongest border security measure ever to pass a body of Congress — but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has ignored the pleas of Americans and refuses to take it up in the Senate. This bill would force Biden and Mayorkas to carry out current law by restarting border wall construction, stopping the mass release of migrants into the interior of the U.S., directing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to turn away migrants that cannot be detained, and reforming oft-abused asylum loopholes, among many other important reforms.

On Aug. 10, a group of 15 Texans sent a letter to our House colleagues demanding that DHS not be funded until H.R. 2 is enacted, policies to combat criminal cartels are signed into law, Texas is repaid the $10 billion it has spent on border security, and Mayorkas is removed from office for his dereliction of duty. Again: no security, no funding.

Political Prosecutions

Second, Americans are watching in disgust as the DOJ has rejected its constitutional duty to “establish Justice, [and] insure domestic Tranquility,” electing instead to pursue a political definition of justice while allowing violent crime to take over our streets.

The most prominent example is the blatantly political prosecution of former President Donald Trump, contrasted with reports that the DOJ is bending over backward to protect Hunter Biden — and likely his father — from facing justice. But we also must stop targeting everyday Americans like Scott Smith, who was labeled a domestic terrorist for defending his daughter at a school board meeting, and Mark Houck, whom the FBI arrested and intimidated in front of his family for being pro-life.

Any funding of this radical DOJ must address its ability to conduct investigations meant to jail political opponents, label everyday parents as “domestic terrorists,” target Americans for their sincerely held beliefs, and police free speech on social media and elsewhere. We also must not fund the FBI’s new multibillion-dollar headquarters; enforcement of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) “pistol-brace” rule that turned owners of some 40 million pistol braces into felons overnight; or ATF’s new proposal to circumvent Congress and massively expand background checks for gun purchases.

Defending Our Nation

Third, we must use funding to focus DOD on its constitutional duty to “provide for the common defense.” DOD brass currently pushes divisive “diversity” policies, radical gender ideology, and destructive Covid policies, each of which hinders our ability to recruit and retain personnel. We can stop this. A united Republican House — through a robust amendment process — made massive strides in the defense authorization bill to end “diversity, equity, and inclusion” offices and trainings, stop taxpayer-funded transgender surgeries, end DOD climate hysteria, and repeal the DOD’s abortion travel fund. However, because the Senate will not take up those changes, we must use DOD funding to ensure national security by forcing these reforms into law.

To be sure, the “no security, no funding” fight does not stop here. For example, leftist politicians and the media are dusting off the 2020 playbook by ramping up Covid scare tactics to push mask and vaccine mandates and lockdowns. Any government funding measure should prohibit funding from flowing to federal agencies and states, counties, or cities carrying out this Covid tyranny. Further, we should “promote the general Welfare” by curbing the inflation brought on by spending trillions in money we don’t have and ending the inflationary energy regulations and subsidies that serve the anti-human climate cult while enriching the elites.

There will be some who cower at this notion — claiming we will be “blamed” for shutting down the government. But what we should truly fear is refusing to fight to uphold the Constitution, do what we said we would do, and stand up for American security. Indeed, in Federalist No. 58, James Madison wrote, “[The] power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people.”

We must stand together in steadfast rejection of President Biden’s destructive status quo and refuse to give ground when the swamp comes crashing down on us. To do that, we must paint a bold vision and stand in unison, saying, “No security, no funding.”

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