Congress needs to focus on government spending
The September 30 deadline is fast approaching and House Republicans need to come up with an effective strategy that guarantees funds for a border wall and cuts unnecessary funding. Partial government shutdown looms and so far Congress hasn’t passed any 2019 spending bills.
The House and Senate have made more progress this year than usual toward passing spending bills through their respective chambers. But they have yet to merge any of their separate bills into final legislation that could pass both bodies and be sent to President Donald Trump for his signature in just four weeks.
The pressure to complete that difficult task will mount in the days ahead as the October 1 fiscal year deadline approaches and Republicans, who control both chambers on the Hill, try to demonstrate to voters they can govern effectively and deserve to remain in power.
The Senate, which canceled its August recess to work on spending bills and nominations, has passed nine of its 12 appropriations bills, while the House, which took the month off, has passed just six.
n the House, where bills can pass without the support of Democrats, conservative Republicans are demanding tough policy measures related to abortion, the Affordable Care Act, immigration and other contentious issues be included in the spending measures. Conservatives like members of the House Freedom Caucus aren’t expected to give up the fight easily, especially with a contentious leadership election looming after the midterms.
Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican and a member of the House Freedom Caucus who has already announced he plans to run for speaker, tweeted before the House recess that the best way to fund the government was “to Fund the border security wall -Reduce spending outside of defense -#DefundPlannedParenthood,” Jordan tweeted. “We should #DoWhatWeSaid.”
The spending showdown is expected to be especially tense when it comes to the issue of the border wall. The President’s signature campaign promise has become a flash point between Democrats and Republicans and even among GOP members in the House and the Senate. The House allocated $5 billion for the wall while the Senate has set aside $1.6 billion.
For the sake of avoiding a partial shutdown and for the sake of keeping control of the House, Republicans need to make fiscal year 2019 government spending a priority.