Some Republicans are growing impatient with Congress’s continued funding of the federal government through short-term budget measures, a discontent that will be on display this week as the latest stopgap funding measure — the sixth this fiscal year — makes its way through the House and Senate.
Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) on Monday became the first Senate Republican to announce that he will vote against the new stopgap measure, which would fund the government through April 8 while cutting $6 billion.
Rubio, a freshman who last week voted in favor of House Republicans’ unsuccessful bill that would have cut $61 billion through September, wrote in a Monday op-ed on RedState.com that he will oppose the latest legislation and any further short-term measures because he believes it’s irresponsible to keep the government running in two- to three-week stints.
“Running our government on the fumes of borrowed spending is unacceptable, short-sighted and dangerous,” Rubio wrote. “I commend the efforts of House and Senate Republican leaders to deal with this, but I did not come to the U.S. Senate to be part of some absurd political theatre.”
Several House Republicans have also expressed dissatisfaction with the continued stopgap measures. One freshman, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), announced Saturday that he is planning to vote against the newest funding bill; other members of the House Republican freshman class may follow suit.
Meanwhile, conservative-leaning outside groups are also weighing in against the short-term bills. Heritage Action, the Club for Growth and the Family Research Council released a joint statement late last week announcing their opposition to the most recent stopgap measure. Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips is also calling on his group’s members to urge their members of Congress to vote against the bill.
Earlier this month, when the House passed a two-week stopgap funding bill, only six Republicans broke ranks and voted against the measure. At the time, House Republican leaders pointed to the fact that more Democrats backed the bill than opposed it, although the Democratic leadership was divided on the vote.
On the Senate side, the two-week measure earlier this month passed overwhelmingly on a 91 to 9 vote; among the nine “no” votes were five Republicans, three Democrats and one independent.
While members of Congress continue to emphasize that a government shutdown is the last thing they want, expect a few more to join in opposing this week’s stopgap measure amid greater calls for a longer-term funding deal.