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Two House Republicans considering siding with Democrats to fund the government

Congress has until Sept. 30 to fund the government, at which point non-essential agencies would close and non-essential employees would be furloughed

Published: September 22, 2023 7:50am

Updated: September 23, 2023 1:45pm

Two freshman House Republicans say they’re willing to end-run their party’s leadership and work with Democrats to fund the government – as their conference is locked in an internal stalemate threatening to shut down the government.

Reps. Marc Molinaro and Mike Lawler, who both represent New York’s Hudson Valley-area districts that voted for President Joe Biden in 2020, said they’re willing to consider using a “discharge petition” to force votes on a short-term funding bill.

The rarely used legislative maneuver allows lawmakers to force a vote on legislation even if the House speaker doesn’t want to bring it up for a vote.

However, the measure requires signatures from a majority of the chamber and must sit in a committee for at least 30 legislative days – which means it cannot prevent a shutdown at the end of September.

The lawmakers voiced their options after the House on Thursday failed to advance a Pentagon spending bill as a step toward keeping the government open past Sept. 30.

“It is absolutely an option,” said Molinaro, according to NBC News. “Working to ensure the government remains functional and that Congress is making the legitimate choices as it relates to funding.”

Lawler said since Democrats control the Senate and the White House “any final bill is going to be bipartisan. And if somebody doesn’t realize that, they’re truly clueless.”

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