Sep 28, 2023 - Politics & Policy

House Freedom Caucus demands answers from McCarthy

Reps. Chip Roy, R-Texas, right, and Scott Perry, R-Pa., leave a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, September 13, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus sent a letter demanding answers from Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on his plan for passing appropriations bills.

Why it matters: The small group of hardliners says they won't back any short-term spending stopgap unless individual appropriations are passed first.

  • The group called for McCarthy to provide a "plan to address the public and widely reported issues threatening final passage of the four appropriations bills" in addition for a schedule on the five remaining bills that made it out of committee.
  • The 27 lawmakers that signed on also requested information on when the House Appropriations Committee will mark up the two bills that remain in committee and answers on additional spending cuts.
  • The group also pushed for McCarthy to state whether he will "publicly refute" the Senate stopgap and whether the House would remain in session until their work on appropriations in completed.

The big picture: Congress is currently barreling toward a shutdown, with no clear solution that would not put McCarthy's standing in leadership in jeopardy.

  • The Senate is looking to strong-arm the House into passing a bipartisan stopgap and moderates in the House are weighing procedural tactics to force a vote on a measure that could pass both chambers.
  • Even if the House is able to complete their work on all 12 bills, they are likely dead on arrival in the Democrat-controlled upper chamber.
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