While House Republicans are coalescing behind a short-term government funding bill to avert a shutdown on Friday, it's not certain to pass. Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows said late Tuesday that Republicans don’t have the votes.
“There is currently not enough support for the latest leadership initiative,” he told The Hill. “We continue to work with them to find a way to reach consensus on a path forward."
The plan introduced by House Speaker Paul Ryan would fund the government through February 16 and include a delay on a number of Obamacare taxes as well as an extension on funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
“It’s a good strategic position because not only does it offer CHIP [funding] for six years … but you also have a medical device tax delay as well as the Cadillac tax delay,” said Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.), reports Politico. “I think it puts Democrats in a very difficult position of having to vote against that in the House or in the Senate.”
The Freedom Caucus remains divided on the plan, however, with enough opposition to derail passage of the continuing resolution.
Some members of the far-right group want promises from leadership to put a conservative immigration bill authored by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) on the House floor.
Other Freedom Caucus members want Congress to fund the Pentagon at higher levels for the rest of the 2018 fiscal year and pass a short-term CR for the rest of the government -- a sentiment shared by some defense hawks. (The Hill)
It’s not just some Freedom Caucus members who remain undecided or opposed to the measure. Defense hawks like Rep. Austin Scott, a member of the Armed Services Committee, also have concerns about how temporary CRs hurt the military.
Still, others recognize the importance of averting a shutdown.
“We're going to have a CR,” said Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), chairwoman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, reports Politico. “We're not going to shut down the government.”