The Washington Post

Conservatives mixed on continuing resolution to avoid government shutdown

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) both expressed a desire on Friday to pass a continuing resolution that would avert a government shutdown later this month. They each suggested they would rather not hold the funding of the government hostage to the negotiations over the sequester, which goes into effect Friday.

But conservatives are giving the idea mixed reviews, with some calling for Boehner to use the continuing resolution -- and by extension, the threat of a government shutdown -- to secure concessions.

Reps. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) and Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) are asking fellow Republicans to sign a letter urging Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to do just that. The Club for Growth has signed on to the effort, saying it will likely urge members to vote against the CR if it doesn't include such a provision.

It's very unlikely GOP leadership would include such a thing in the CR. If he did, it wouldn't pass in the Senate, where Democrats have the majority.

Jackie Bodnar, a spokewoman for the tea party group Freedomworks, also criticized the CR.

"A simple ‘date-change’ continuing resolution is just another self-negotiation by Republican leadership to accommodate the scare tactics of the Democrats," Bodnar said. "If congressional leadership is serious about getting spending and the debt under control, they will take a principled stand and pass a serious budget that reforms entitlements, taxes, and health care."

Other conservatives say they don't object to the deal to avert a potential shutdown showdown.

American Conservative Union chairman Al Cardenas said his organization would support it as long as the sequester remains intact. Obama said he would agree to allow Congress to deal with the sequester separately from the continuing resolution.

"We will support a continuing resolution that strictly adheres to the new budget numbers under the sequester and will urge Speaker Boehner and the House appropriators to follow up with appropriations bills for the next fiscal year that are consistent with the sequester," Cardenas said.

Republicans last Congress used the potential government shutdown to get Democrats to agree to spending cuts, and some have suggested there could be another showdown this month.

But Reuters reports that there is little appetite in the GOP for a repeat of that battle and that there was wide support at a caucus meeting for a clean continuing resolution (i.e. one that could easily pass in both chambers and doesn't seek addition concessions).

Congress must pass something that continues to fund the government by March 27, or it would face another shutdown.

Updated at 4:17 p.m.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
In defense of dads
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
For good coffee, sniff, slurp and spit
How to keep your child safe in the water
How your online data can get hijacked
Play Videos
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Next Story
Ed O'Keefe · March 1, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.