Conservatives At a Crossroads in Government Funding Battle

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As Congress returns from August recess this week, lawmakers will face an urgent time crunch to fund the government before the end of the fiscal year on September 30. But with Democrats continuing to obstruct the efforts of conservative Republicans to rein in out-of-control spending, address the border crisis, and end the pervasive woke brainwashing in the federal government and the military, a shutdown may be looming.

In a short letter released by the Conservative Action Project (CAP) on August 30, more than 100 conservative leaders, including AMAC CEO Rebecca Weber and AMAC Action President Bob Carlstrom, urged Republicans in Congress to hold firm in opposing a Continuing Resolution, which would extend government funding at its current level.

“Neither the House nor the Senate has passed the required appropriations bills, which means a short-term extension of funding – a Continuing Resolution – will be required,” the letter reads. “This is a critical ‘must pass’ leverage point, and conservatives must use it to disrupt the Washington Swamp’s playbook to force reforms to Democrats’ failed policies.”

As the CAP letter suggests, both Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are reportedly eyeing a Continuing Resolution to punt on the funding debate until early December, which would “set the stage for yet another year-end, budget busting omnibus spending bill.”

Passing a Continuing Resolution would be a major blow to conservative efforts to check the far-left extremism of the Biden administration and congressional Democrats over the past two years. In effect, it would mean that Republican leadership has signed off on the same radical policies that they spent all of 2022 campaigning against – a major betrayal of conservative voters who elected a Republican House majority to do the exact opposite.

“No spending bills should pass Congress without desperately needed policy reforms attached that secure the border, end the weaponization of federal law enforcement, and stop the woke cancer that has infected the Pentagon,” the CAP letter continues. “Conservatives are ready with reforms. If congressional Democrats would rather shut down the government than secure America, then congressional Republicans must take that fight head-on.”

The conservative House Freedom Caucus looks poised to do just that. In a statement late last month, the Freedom Caucus declared its members would “refuse to support 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 Freedom caucus has made three key demands that must be met in order for it to support any funding legislation: the deal must include the “Secure the Border Act of 2023” (which passed the House in May and beefs up immigration enforcement), it must “address the unprecedented weaponization of the Justice Department and FBI,” and it must “end the Left’s cancerous woke policies in the Pentagon undermining our military’s core warfighting mission.”

Although Democrats and the mainstream media have dismissed the Freedom Caucus’s demands as “far right” and “extreme,” the truth is that allowing those issues to continue to fester is the real extreme position.

Official numbers state that there were more than 2.2 million known illegal border crossings last year. There have been more than 1.6 million with one month left to go in FY 2023—and the true numbers are certainly much higher. To call the situation at the border an “invasion” isn’t “racist” or “exaggerated” – it’s an understatement.

Incidents like the FBI’s dawn raid on the home of pro-life activist Mark Houck and a memo from an FBI field office likening traditional Catholics to “violent extremists” have also highlighted the blatant politicization of the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies – again justifying the Freedom Caucus’s concerns.

Despite vigorous denials from Democrats and the mainstream media, the Freedom Caucus is also absolutely correct that the military is chock full of woke ideology. With China, Russia, and other U.S. adversaries growing more aggressive and every branch missing recruitment targets, passing a Continuing Resolution without reforms borders on a reckless national security threat.

There’s also the simple fact that allowing runaway spending to continue will bankrupt the country and destroy the financial future of entire generations of Americans. Under Biden, trillion-dollar deficits have become the new normal, and the ratio of U.S. debt held by the public to GDP (a measure commonly used by economists to assess a nation’s debt situation) is predicted to reach 98.2 percent this year. In 2011, it was just 65.5 percent.

Time and again, Republican leaders have caved under pressure and allowed Democrats to use the budgetary process to advance their far-left agenda, all funded by American taxpayer dollars. The most recent such case came earlier this year when Republican leaders capitulated on the debt limit fight.

Now, congressional Republicans have another chance to do what voters elected them to do. With Democrats appearing similarly determined to send the government into shutdown, the only question remaining is who will blink first.

Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @ShaneHarris513.

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