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Growing GOP Opposition to Short-Term CR



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Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, who has considerable influence among freshman and conservative members, will not support the three-week continuing resolution (which includes $6 billion in spending cuts) when the House votes on Tuesday. His spokesman tells NRO that “although he understands that there will be well-intentioned members on both sides of the issue,” Jordan will vote against the bill.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) said on CNN’s State of the Union that Republicans would “get this through,” when it came to tomorrow’s vote. However, there appears to be growing unease within the GOP ranks, particularly among freshmen, after a number of prominent conservative groups came out against the bill last week.

A source close to the situation tells NRO that opposition to the CR is “definitely gaining some momentum.” Today freshman senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) announced that he would vote against the bill, assuming it can make it past the House, which still seems likely, but as this GOP freshman class has proven in the past, you can’t take anything for granted.

Stay tuned as we find out more.

UPDATE: From Jordan’s official statement:

Americans sent us here to deal with big problems in bold ways.  We’re borrowing billions of dollars a day, yet Senate Democrats have done little more than wring their hands for the last month.  With the federal government facing record deficits and a mammoth debt hanging over our economy and our future, we must do more than cut spending in bite-sized pieces.

Democrats control both the Senate and the White House, and it’s time they stopped dithering.  We need swift action to deal with spending for the rest of this year.  We need to stop sending taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, and we need to defund ObamaCare.  And we need to start tackling next year’s budget, the debt-ceiling, and other challenges standing in the way of job creation.  We’ve made some solid first downs on spending.  Now it’s time to look to the end zone.

In addition to Jordan, freshmen Reps. Tim Huelskamp (R., Kan.), Jeff Duncan (R., S.C.), Allen West (R., Fla.) and John Fleming (R., La.) have announced their intention to vote against the short-term bill.

UPDATE II: Freshman Rep. Michael Grimm (R., N.Y.) released a statement criticizing “the extreme wing of the Republican party” for opposing the short-term continuing resolution, and chiding all lawmakers who would “bow to the extreme right or left.”

“They’re not looking at the big picture,” he said. “And the last thing we want to do is become like Nancy Pelosi in the last Congress, where it was ‘my way or the highway.’”

“I know that there is some opposition to working with Senate Democrats from the extreme right of the tea party who would rather see a government shutdown than pass a short-term solution,” Grimm continued. “However, as long as we continue to cut spending each time, we are keeping our promise to the American people to reduce the deficit and fix the economy.”

UPDATE III: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) met with reporters this afternoon and acknowledged widespread frustration among Republicans about the lack of a long-term solution, but placed the blame on Senate Democrats (and President Obama) for failing to put forward a legitimate proposal from which to negotiate a compromise.

“Obviously there are a lot of other issues that we’d like to see dealt with in any kind of longer term solution,” Cantor said. “But right now we are trying to position ourselves so that we can insure no government shutdown, continue to cut spending and to reach a result that I think a majority of members can go along with.”

He said House Republicans were forced into a short-term resolution because of inaction in the senate and a lack of leadership from the White House. McCarthy said every Republican was frustrated with the situation. “[Jim Jordan's] problem with the bill is, he wants to finish it,” McCarthy said. “That’s Jim’s frustration, that’s Eric’s frustration, it’s Kevin’s frustration.”

In the end, McCarthy said, it was up to Senate Democrats, who have gone a year and a half without producing a budget, to get their act together. “The real question is: How serious are they?” he said. “They need to show some leadership.”

It’s worth noting that 104 Democrats, including Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D., Md.), voted for the last short-term CR, which passed overwhelmingly — 335 to 91 — and are likely to do so again, meaning that even if a number of Republicans defect, there is little danger (at the moment) of the bill being rejected.

“Let’s get serious here,” Cantor said. “Let’s make sure that we don’t shut down the government. I hope this is the last stop-gap measure and that we can finally come to some resolution.”

UPDATE IV: At a press conference this afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said he thinks the three-week CR will pass, that passing it is a “good idea,” but doing so “is not going to be easy.”

UPDATE V: See here.



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