The Freedom Caucus’ shutdown threat recalls tactics of past House rebels

The House Freedom Caucus is planning a government shutdown threat similar to tactics employed by past House rebels, as they intend to use their leverage during Congress’s big budget and spending decisions in September.

Driving the news: Members of the House Freedom Caucus want to enforce their influence by seizing the budget and spending decisions of the new fiscal year, aiming to alter the policies and priorities of the federal establishment.
* They are discontented with the perceived failure to deliver on promises made during the 2022 election, with their party winning a narrow majority in the House but not gaining control in the Senate.
* They intend to oppose, investigate and even impeach President Biden or members of his administration while forcing Speaker Kevin McCarthy to toe their line.

Bold moves ahead: Caucus members are refusing to vote for a stopgap bill to keep the federal government operating past September 30.
* This protest further pressured by utilizing the threat of a government shutdown can lead to real effects on public employees and public interest.
* The House Freedom Caucus has been rallying around Representative Chip Roy’s announcement that he will fight any efforts to fund the government without radical reforms at least in border security and the Department of Justice and Defense.

Historical precedence: Utilizing a government shutdown to pressure a Democratic president was a new tactic introduced by Republicans when they won control of the House in 1994.
* These Republican majorities are now remembered largely for their shutdowns and impeaching President Bill Clinton in 1998.
* Gingrich’s election as speaker saw the new tactic of demands for concessions for increasing the debt limit, threatening default and financial chaos.

Looking forward: The House Freedom Caucus aims to continue the fight in opposing the Democratic establishment, starting in September.
* Their use of a shutdown threat is seen as a strategy to regain the momentum Republicans had when they won control of the House in the past.

View original article on NPR

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