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House Conservatives Left Frustrated as Spending Cuts Fail to Materialize

As Congress once again moves to approve a deal to fund the government without any spending cuts, Representative Chip Roy (R-Tex.), a member of the far-right Freedom Caucus, expressed his frustration on the House floor. Roy criticized his own party, asking when they would fulfill their promises of reducing reckless spending.

Despite their efforts to bring chaos and turmoil to government, little has changed in the federal budget as a result of the actions of this band of House conservatives.

Since taking control of the House, far-right lawmakers have caused disruptions by forcing a lengthy speaker nomination contest, paralyzing legislation, and threatening to breach the U.S. borrowing limit.

Credit: DepositPhotos

They even succeeded in deposing Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for working with Democrats to fund the government. However, despite all these efforts, federal spending remains at the same level as before Republicans took office.

The recent bipartisan bill signed by President Biden to avert a shutdown and continue funding the government at existing levels until January has disappointed conservatives who had hoped for deep spending reductions.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has vowed to break this pattern in the next spending fight, declaring that the latest deal will be the last that extends government funding without cuts.

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However, Johnson now finds himself in the same predicament as his predecessor – unable to pass bills that cut funding due to resistance from the right-wing faction of his party.

If he wants to avoid a government shutdown and prevent blame from falling on the GOP, he may have to pass legislation with Democratic support, resulting in bills that are more bipartisan.

“We’re not functional enough to get whatever budget cuts a slim House majority might otherwise command. Unless you’re willing to do more of the lifting for what can actually become law, you don’t have any leverage – and that’s how you end up where we are,” said GOP strategist Liam Donovan.

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Johnson’s failed attempts to unify the GOP on spending bills mirror McCarthy’s failures. Bills proposing funding cuts to various departments have been defeated or pulled due to opposition from both the far-right and moderate Republicans who view the cuts as too extreme.

Credits: DepositPhotos

The Senate, which has been working on a bipartisan basis, laments the lack of progress in the House. Republican Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) stated, “The House has got to recognize that they’re not going to get everything that we want. At the same time, we recognize that in the Senate, because in the Senate, we’re working every day on a bipartisan basis.

In the House, they don’t do that very often.”

Although House Republicans have managed to reduce federal spending to some extent, such as through the debt ceiling deal, deeper spending cuts have failed to materialize. The pressure is on Johnson to deliver as the 2024 election approaches, and conservatives grow frustrated by the lack of results.

“What was achieved, besides three months of mayhem?” questioned conservative policy analyst Stephen Moore. “Nobody wants to cut the budget more than I do. But you have to be a political realist.”

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