The House Freedom Caucus on Wednesday introduced a short-term spending bill to keep the government open for an extra week as lawmakers weigh this week’s bipartisan border deal that the conservative hardliners find “frustrating.”
“Like many of my colleagues, I am frustrated that this current proposal ignores input from experts on our southern border,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), the proposal’s sponsor, said in a statement. “I introduced this short-term continuing resolution — a spending bill — to provide time to negotiate more effective border security without the threat of another government shutdown.”
The proposal was announced in a press release with the subject line “HFC introduces CR as funding alternative to bad border deal.”
Earlier this week, a conference committee of House and Senate negotiators announced they’d come to an agreement in principle on the border that would avert another shutdown later this week. The deal would allocate $1.375 billion for 55 miles of a border fence – well below the $5.7 billion President Trump demanded as part of the 35 day partial government shutdown that ended last month.
Republican supporters of the deal have said that Trump will have flexibility to use other measures to find more money to build barriers on the southern border. Yet conservative hardliners have been grumbling about the agreement, especially since they have not seen bill text yet.
“The conference report is projected to be thousands of pages long and was negotiated behind closed doors,” House Freedom Caucus Mark Meadows said in a statement. “We believe that Members should be given enough time to read it before voting on it, so they can decide whether or not a better deal can be negotiated.”
The previous government shutdown happened when the same hardliners encouraged Trump to oppose spending legislation that had already passed the Senate easily.