House Freedom Caucus Draws Red Lines, Vows to Oppose Biden's Frivolous & Bloated Funding Bill
House Freedom Caucus Draws Red Lines on Support of Stopgap Funding Bill
By: Mark Tapscott
August 21, 2023 (Updated): House Freedom Caucus (HFC) members announced their conditions for supporting "a short-term extension of government funding through a Continuing Resolution (CR)" and vowed to oppose "any such measure that continues Democrats’ bloated COVID-era spending and simultaneously fails to force the Biden administration to follow the law and fulfill its most basic responsibilities."
The 42-member HFC, which represents the most consistently conservative representatives in the lower chamber of Congress, described its conditions on the CR issue in an Aug. 21 statement.
Because Republicans control the House of Representatives by only four votes, the support of the HFC is critical to Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy's ability to complete the 11 outstanding major appropriations bills once the Sept. 30 end of the current fiscal year arrives.
Related Article: House Freedom Caucus Vows Spending Fight, Unafraid of Government Shutdown As The Epoch Times reported on Aug. 16, Mr. McCarthy has floated the idea of a "clean" CR that would merely continue present spending levels.
But the HFC made clear in the Aug. 21 statement, as did several members of the caucus did last week to The Epoch Times, that maintaining the current expenditures is a dead-on-arrival approach.
Passage of a “'clean' Continuing Resolution would be an affirmation of the current FY 2023 spending level grossly increased by the lame-duck December 2022 omnibus spending bill that we all vehemently opposed just seven months ago," the HFC statement said.
Watch Video: House Freedom Caucus Holds a Press Conference on Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Instead, the HFC statement said members will only support a CR that meets three essential conditions, including "the House-passed Secure the Border Act of 2023 to cease the unchecked flow of illegal migrants, combat the evils of human trafficking, and stop the flood of dangerous fentanyl into our communities."
The Secure the Border Act was narrowly approved in the House in May.
Image above: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) arrives for closed-door testimony with Devon Archer at the O'Neill House Office Building in Washington on July 31, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
The legislation, called the Secure the Border Act (H.R.2), would restore many of the policies implemented by former President Donald Trump, such as resuming construction of the border walls.
It would also restrict asylum by mandating that migrants cross legally, pay a $50 fee, and meet more stringent standards to demonstrate that they're fleeing political, religious, or racial persecution.
It also seeks to increase the number of Border Patrol agents.
The second HFC condition is the group's members want the CR to "address the unprecedented weaponization of the Justice Department and FBI to focus them on prosecuting real criminals instead of conducting political witch hunts and targeting law-abiding citizens."
Image above: Kevin Jenkins (L), Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (C) and Mary Holland (R) speak at Broadway Rally For Freedom in Manhattan, New York, on Oct. 16, 2021. (Enrico Trigoso/The Epoch Times)
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a co-founder of the the HFC, is also chairman of the panel's Weaponization of the Federal Government Subcommittee.
The subcommittee has heard from multiple witnesses on how federal officials have colluded with Big Tech executives to censor unapproved speech, including most recently Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The third HFC condition, according to the statement, is bringing about an end to "the Left’s cancerous Woke policies in the Pentagon undermining our military’s core war-fighting mission."
Numerous HFC members have expressed opposition, for example, to the policy of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to use tax dollars to pay the costs of military members who must travel across state lines to obtain an abortion.
The conservative House members also included in their statement a warning to Mr. McCarthy that they "will oppose any attempt by Washington to revert to its old playbook of using a series of short-term funding extensions designed to push Congress up against a December deadline to force the passage of yet another monstrous, budget busting, pork filled, lobbyist handout omnibus spending bill at year’s end and we will use every procedural tool necessary to prevent that outcome."
The HFC statement also declared opposition to "any blank check for Ukraine in any supplemental appropriations bill."
President Joe Biden is expected to ask Congress for an additional $20 billion in military aid to Ukraine in a supplemental spending request in September.
The Epoch Times' Liam Cosgrove contributed to this report. Source: The Epoch Times
Mark Tapscott is an award-winning investigative editor and reporter who covers Congress, national politics, and policy for The Epoch Times. Mark was admitted to the National Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Hall of Fame in 2006 and he was named Journalist of the Year by CPAC in 2008. He was a consulting editor on the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series “Other Than Honorable” in 2014.