Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said on Monday that the group may withhold support for the next stopgap spending bill, thus creating headaches for Republican leaders trying to come up with a strategy to keep the government open after the February 8 deadline.
Meadows said there was “overwhelming consensus” among the freedom caucus members who attended a Monday night meeting to oppose yet another temporary funding measure. However, due to an insufficient number of members present at the meeting, the group didn’t take a formal position on a continuing resolution, which requires the consensus of at least 80 percent of the members. The ultra-conservative group is expected to do so as early as Tuesday.
“The general consensus is not to support another CR. There is a concern that we continue to agree on a strategy to do just another short-term CR, and those strategies fail to materialize,” Meadows said, according to The Hill.
The 30 hard-liners have some leverage in the spending talks as Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been refusing to supply the Democratic votes for a CR without a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
In order to get their support, Meadows and the Freedom Caucus were promised by Speaker Paul Ryan that a defense funding bill would be put on the House floor. Ryan also promised them that he would win Republican support for an immigration bill authored by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte.
Even though the House is to vote on a Pentagon funding bill this week, Meadows has expressed frustration that more aggressive action has not been taken on the immigration bill.
“I have real questions whether that’s actually [being whipped]. Whipping in words only is not whipping it,” he said.
“If there is the finger of leadership on the scales to tip something one way or another, that’s not whipping it,” Meadows continued.