Rank-and-file GOP lawmakers are reluctant to support another short-term spending bill, which Republican leaders say could fund the government for another month or possibly deeper into March.
With negotiations having stalled on a longer-term bill that would raise budget caps for defense and domestic spending, GOP leaders say a fifth stopgap spending bill is needed to keep the government from shutting down next week.
House Freedom Caucus members say they are likely to oppose another continuing resolution because they want a separate vote on full-year funding for defense and a more conservative immigration plan.
“I don’t see the probability of the Freedom Caucus supporting a fifth CR by Feb. 8 unless we see dramatic changes,” said Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC). “We’ve had the land of promise for four times now on CRs. It’s time to put some real commitment to the effort before a fifth CR.”
Freedom Caucus support is crucial because Republicans aren’t likely to get any support from House Democrats, who have opposed the last three CRs. Democrats want a budget deal that lifts sequestration spending caps for defense and non-defense programs equally, and also protects so-called Dreamers, the young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. who could be deported if Congress does not extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) before it ends in March.
“You cannot increase defense and bleed the domestic budget and think we are going to be a strong nation,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). “And yes, Dreamers are a part of that negotiation but we are not there yet on the money so nobody should say the Dreamers are holding up that negotiation.”