The federal fiscal year is soon drawing to a close, and the ticking clock is amplifying concerns about another potential government shutdown. The heart of the matter? An unapproved budget for the year beginning October 1st. But for several House conservatives, this looming possibility isn’t a dire threat — rather, it’s a necessary stand against unchecked government spending.
Representative Ralph Norman (R-SC) was unequivocal in his stance. If achieving financial security, which he argues the country currently lacks, requires a shutdown, then he believes it’s a price worth paying. And he’s not alone. Representative Bob Good (R-VA) chimed in with his perspective, saying, “Most Americans won’t even miss it,” referring to the parts of the government that would shut down. For Good, if a shutdown is what’s needed to push back against detrimental policies and secure significant spending cuts, then it’s a tool conservatives should be ready to use.
But here’s the logistical challenge: With only 11 House sessions left before the budget deadline, passing the necessary budget bills appears increasingly improbable. History echoes this sentiment. Case in point: the Fiscal Year 2023 budget only received its final nod from Congress in late December 2022, a notable delay from its intended October kickoff.
One group particularly vocal in their demands is the House Freedom Caucus. Their position includes strong support for the “Secure the Border Act of 2023,” emphasizing the need to halt illegal immigration, counteract human trafficking, and stem the tide of dangerous narcotics. Additionally, they’re pressing for refocusing the Justice Department and FBI on actual criminal activities instead of, as they claim, conducting politically motivated investigations. The group is also urging the cessation of what they term “woke” policies within the Pentagon. Their endgame? To prevent the reiteration of last-minute spending bills packed with unnecessary expenditures.
But House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is treading cautiously. His apprehensions aren’t only about the shutdown; he’s also worried about stalling the multiple investigations currently surrounding the Biden family. He remarked, “If we shut down, all the government shuts it down — investigation and everything else. It hurts the American public.” But some conservatives, like Representative Ken Buck (R-CO), feel that investigative operations are likely to continue regardless of the shutdown, and Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) isn’t buying the argument that a shutdown would hinder other essential House functions.
The weeks ahead will prove crucial. As the deadline looms, will there be a consensus on the path forward? Or will staunch conservative beliefs about fiscal responsibility require a high-profile standoff? The American public watches, waiting to see how their elected representatives will navigate these turbulent waters.