As the fiscal year inches to a close, Congress is again in the scramble to pass appropriations bills. Traditionally, this has been an opportunity for lawmakers to pile on pet projects and appease special interests, culminating in monstrous omnibus bills that few have time to read, let alone understand. This time, however, the House Freedom Caucus, an alliance of conservative lawmakers, is taking a stand against the practice.
“We refuse to support any such measure that continues Democrats’ bloated COVID-era spending and simultaneously fails to force the Biden Administration to follow the law and fulfill its most basic responsibilities,” the Freedom Caucus declared in a press release.
A series of short-term continuing resolutions serves Washington, not the American people. https://t.co/j3vWjmJAIH
— Mike Lee (@BasedMikeLee) August 21, 2023
For far too long, Washington has functioned on “business as usual,” burdening the American people with astronomical debt and a ballooning federal bureaucracy. The Freedom Caucus aims to challenge that status quo by refusing to back any spending measure that doesn’t address pivotal policy areas, including:
- Border security,
- The “weaponization” of the Department of Justice and FBI, and
- The infiltration of “woke” ideology into the Pentagon.
Border security remains a high-stakes issue for Americans, particularly those in states that share a border with Mexico. As the Freedom Caucus wisely advocates, any stopgap funding must “include the House-passed ‘Secure the Border Act of 2023’ to cease the unchecked flow of illegal migrants, combat the evils of human trafficking, and stop the flood of dangerous fentanyl into our communities.”
But the Freedom Caucus’s stance is about more than just fiscal responsibility. The group also emphasizes needing a focused and impartial Justice Department and FBI. The Caucus calls lawmakers to “address the unprecedented weaponization of the Justice Department and FBI to focus them on prosecuting real criminals instead of conducting political witch hunts and targeting law-abiding citizens.”
Likewise, military readiness must not be compromised by ideological crusades. The Caucus aims to “end the Left’s cancerous woke policies in the Pentagon undermining our military’s core warfighting mission.” It’s a stand that resonates deeply with a public increasingly concerned about the erosion of institutional integrity.
The fiscal year ends on September 30, and Congress has just a few weeks in session to pass appropriations bills. On a cautionary note, the Caucus warned, “We will oppose any attempt by Washington to revert to its old playbook of using a series of short-term funding extensions designed to push Congress up against a December deadline to force the passage of yet another monstrous, budget busting, pork filled, lobbyist handout omnibus spending bill at year’s end.”
The Caucus’s position puts pressure on GOP leaders like Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who can ill afford to lose votes given the GOP’s slim House majority. As the Caucus notes, any support for a “clean” Continuing Resolution would be “an affirmation of the current FY 2023 spending level grossly increased by the lame-duck December 2022 omnibus spending bill.”
By taking this stand, the House Freedom Caucus isn’t just setting policy conditions; they’re upholding principles of fiscal responsibility and integrity in governance. As lawmakers dither over funding details, let’s hope their voices rise above the clamor, guiding us toward a more responsible and principled future.