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House Begins 6-Week Recess Early After Failing to Reach Agreement

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The House broke for its six-week recess one day early on Thursday after it became clear that differences over the agriculture spending bill were not going to be resolved in time for a hoped-for Friday vote.

In addition to differences over spending, a Republican rift has emerged over an effort to attach to the budget bill a bit of legislation to overturn a Biden administration rule that allowed the abortion pill mifepristone to be mailed or sold in drug stores, according to Axios. The agriculture bill also includes funding for agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration.

“We’ve had a number of members talking about the back-and-forth on the negotiations,” House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said, according to the Washington Examiner.

“There’s members that want to do deeper cuts. There’s other members who have been vocal that they won’t support the bill under deeper cuts. So we’re still having some fun on negotiations,” the Louisiana Republican said.

In theory, the budget is supposed to be approved by the beginning of the next fiscal year on Oct. 1. Given that the House does not return until Sept. 18, passage before that deadline is unlikely.

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Still, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy expressed confidence to Axios that it will happen. “[W]e’ve got to get in the room, we’ll talk, we’re making great progress,” the California Republican said.

On-time federal budgets do not happen often, which leads to the passage of what are known as continuing resolutions to keep the government running. The FY 2023 budget, which took effect last Oct. 1, did not receive final congressional passage until Dec. 23, according to The New York Times.

Axios reported that some House Republicans are willing to change that game and face a shutdown at the end of September.

“We should not fear a government shutdown. Most of what we do up here is bad anyway,” Republican Rep. Bob Good of Virginia said earlier this week, according to CNN.

Should Congress get its work done on time, regardless of whatever compromises are involved?

Republican Rep. Ben Cline of Virginia summarized the debate of the agriculture bill — one likely to play out across other appropriations bills to come, according to the Examiner.

“The bill is not eliminating as much wasteful spending as it could,” Cline said. “And we’ve identified additional areas and provided suggestions where those savings can be found.”

The abortion proposal adds to the differences among House Republicans.

“I have said from the very beginning that I would not support legislation that would ban abortion nationwide,” Republican Rep. Mike Lawler of New York said.

“To me, some of these issues that are being dealt with should be dealt with at the state level, and that’s it. Some states allow it to be mailed; some states don’t. But that should be a decision with the states and the FDA,” he said.

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Axios noted that as the House debates cuts, the Democrat-controlled Senate is moving forward with higher spending levels, which means that sooner or later, the two different versions collide until the House and Senate can agree.

One new wrinkle this year is that if the negotiations for a new budget drag on past Jan. 1, discretionary spending is cut by 1 percent.

On Thursday, the House did pass a bill funding military construction and veterans affairs by a vote of 219-211, according to CNN.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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