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Democrats Caution Johnson Not to Yield to Spending Demands from the Freedom Caucus

Credits: Washington Post

House Democrats are cautioning against including Republican-backed policy riders, or “poison pills,” in annual government funding bills as the deadline for a potential shutdown approaches next week.

More than a dozen Democrats wrote a letter to House and Senate leadership, expressing concern about harmful riders that could hinder the appropriations process and urging clean funding bills.

The letter, reported by Axios, emphasizes the need for funding bills without contentious riders that are unpopular with the American people.

Johnson Mike (Credits: Fox 59)

The Democrats argue that clean funding bills are the best way to fulfill the government’s duty to keep running. Among the signatories are Representatives Deborah Ross, Jan Schakowsky, Terri Sewell, Ruben Gallego, and Pramila Jayapal.

The letter follows pressure from the House Freedom Caucus on Speaker Mike Johnson to introduce a yearlong stopgap funding bill that would trigger automatic spending cuts if the GOP doesn’t win concessions on policy riders.

The Freedom Caucus outlined a list of GOP-backed provisions, including reducing Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ salary to $0, targeting the Pentagon’s abortion travel policy, and defunding Planned Parenthood.

The list also includes items related to the Biden administration’s actions on student loans and funding for a new FBI headquarters. Congress faces a deadline of March 1 to pass funding legislation to prevent a shutdown.

However, there are concerns that lawmakers may resort to another short-term funding patch, which would be the fourth for fiscal 2024 since the initial deadline last fall.

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