Republican hardliners in the House of Representatives are pushing back against the bipartisan deal struck on Sunday aimed at avoiding a government shutdown.
The conservative House Freedom Caucus led the revolt against Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s agreement on Sunday evening, recirculating a late December memo that said any funding topline higher than $1.59 trillion would be ‘totally unacceptable.’
‘It’s even worse than we thought,’ the group posted on X. ‘Don’t believe the spin. Once you break through typical Washington math, the true total programmatic spending level is $1.658 trillion — not $1.59 trillion.’
The statement called the deal a ‘total failure.’
Previous GOP rebellions in the spending fight have seen conservative lawmakers intentionally tank their own party’s procedural votes, effectively delaying government funding bills from getting to the floor.
But Congress is working on a major time crunch, with federal funding expiring for some agencies on Jan. 19 and all others on Feb. 2.
They’re also operating on a two-seat majority for most of this month, after Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., announced Friday that he would be recovering from cancer-related treatment for most of January.
That means House leadership will likely have to put any spending bills up under suspension, which would bypass the procedural hurdle but raise the threshold for passage to two-thirds of the chamber rather than a simple majority.
It’s all but assured that any final appropriations bills will need Democratic support to pass the House.
Both Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., said they were against the agreement.
‘I’m currently a no,’ Burchett said on Fox Report. ‘I’d like to see some real cuts…and maybe cut back on all the…spending that we’ve been doing. And until we do that, we are we are falling off a fiscal cliff.’
Greene wrote on X, ‘I am a NO to the Johnson Schumer budget deal. This $1.6 Trillion dollar budget agreement does nothing to secure the border, stop the invasion, or stop the weaponized government targeting Biden’s political enemies and innocent Americans. So much for the power of the purse!’
Johnson and Schumer, D-N.Y., both claimed victory when announcing they had agreed on what level to fund the government at for the remainder of fiscal year 2024. Their plan would set a statutory topline of $1.59 trillion, the same level Schumer set with ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as part of negotiations to raise the debt limit last spring.
The updated plan would also factor in most of a $69 billion side deal made between McCarthy and President Biden. Johnson said he negotiated an added $16 billion in spending cuts this year to offset that.
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, on X called the agreed-upon spending level ‘terrible,’ adding that it ‘gives away the leverage accomplished in the (already not great) caps deal’ between McCarthy and Biden, the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
But a GOP aide pushed back against that notion on Sunday night, telling Fox News Digital, ‘This deal has the same levels of spending as the [Fiscal Responsibility Act] deal except with billions more in cuts. Republicans put the screws to Democrats one more time.’
The House is formally back from the holidays on Jan. 9.