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Senate Republicans Respond to House Shutdown Discussions

Senate Republicans are pushing back against House GOP conservatives’ threats to shut down the government if their demands for the 2024 fiscal year budget are not met.

A shutdown looms with a Sept. 30 deadline — and just 11 legislative days in the House — to reach a funding deal.

“I think it’s better to figure this out before the end of the fiscal year and rather than engage in that sort of self-destructive behavior,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said this week, The Hill reported.

Cornyn added, “Nobody wants to shut down.”

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said a shutdown would simply be “great inconvenience for the American people.”

“The question should be, what comes after you shut down the government?” Romney told The Hill.

“And the answer has always been, ‘Well, we’ll reopen it again. And of course, we reopen it at great expense, great inconvenience for the American people, and have accomplished nothing other than making a big noise.”

The last government shutdown, amid a border wall battle between the Trump administration and a Democrat-led House, occurred nearly four years ago. It lasted a month — the longest shutdown in modern history — and affected hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

This time, the conservative House Freedom Caucus is demanding that a chamber-passed border-security bill be attached to any deal, including a continuing resolution that would buy more time to negotiate.

The group also declared on social media site X that it will oppose any stopgap government funding bill that fails to address the “weaponization” of the Department of Justice and “woke” military policies.

With Republicans holding a slim advantage in the House, it would take only a handful of GOP members to block any partisan bill.

Some GOP senators seem to understand the House hardliners’ approach.

“I think Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden want to force a shutdown. I think that’s the mistake if they did it,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Wednesday. “I think that’s the mistake if they did.”

Sen. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., commended House conservatives for “looking for the best option to put the best package forward for America.”

“But we still got to work with the other side, unfortunately, this time. So, the worst thing we do is go into shutdown,” Mullin said, The Hill reported. “So, we’re going to do everything we can to avoid it.”

Other Senate Republicans clearly disagree with the shutdown approach.

“The last time we had a significant shutdown, we couldn’t get the crab fishermen out into the waters because their permits needed to be issued by a federal agency,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, told reporters Thursday, The Hill reported.

“Their season didn’t start until Oct. 1, but what happened Sept. 30? Things shut down. You didn’t have a crab fisherman that was able to get out in the water. It’s real life.”

Senate negotiators passed all 12 annual funding bills out of committee before the August recess and are set to begin voting on the spending legislation next week.

House GOP negotiators have passed 10 of 12 annual funding bills out of committee. None of the spending legislation crafted in the House is expected to get any Democrat support.

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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