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House Democrats urge Johnson not to try cutting spending and risk government shutdown

"Clean funding bills – free of contentious poison pill riders that members of both parties oppose – represent the best path forward as we work to fulfill our duty to the American people to keep the federal government running," Democratic lawmakers wrote to House Speaker Johnson

Published: February 23, 2024 1:21pm

A group of House Democrats urged House Speaker Mike Johnson on Friday not to try cutting spending and risk a government shutdown.

Congress faces two appropriations deadlines in March. Lawmakers would have to agree to a new spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.

"Clean funding bills – free of contentious poison pill riders that members of both parties oppose – represent the best path forward as we work to fulfill our duty to the American people to keep the federal government running," the group of Democratic lawmakers wrote in a letter sent to Johnson, House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

"We strongly believe Congress must appropriate adequate funding for non-defense discretionary programs. Enacting domestic spending levels below the $773 billion levels agreed by Speaker Johnson and Leader Schumer would threaten the health, safety, security, and economic well- being of our constituents," they wrote.

Earlier this week, the conservative House Freedom Caucus wrote a letter to Johnson and outlined a series of policy changes and spending reductions that could be included in the next spending bill.

"If we are not going to secure significant policy changes or even keep spending below the caps adopted by bipartisan majorities less than one year ago, why would we proceed when we could instead pass a year-long funding resolution that would save Americans $100 billion in year one?" the conservatives wrote.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Bob Good told Just the News last week that the House should include in the next spending bill border security provisions that previously passed as part of the Secure the Border Act, H.R. 2, which has not been voted on in the Democrat-led Senate.

A significant number of Republicans opposed the last temporary spending bill in the House. 

"There are MANY other policies and personnel that Congress should not be funding, and a failure to eliminate them will reduce the probability that the appropriations bills will be supported by even a majority of Republicans," wrote the House conservatives in the letter. "In fact, the last 'continuing resolution' passed with 107 Republicans supporting it and 106 Republicans opposing it."

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