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“Shortfall Ahead: Key GOP Caucus Member Predicts Missed Government Funding Goals

Recently, a key member of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), has expressed pessimism about yielding results in the ongoing budget negotiations between House Republicans and Democrats. In an interview with The Hill, Meadows predicted that Congress may fall short of its goal to keep the government running on a long-term funding bill. Congress has been locked in a seemingly endless cycle of negotiations ever since the start of fiscal year 2018 in October. Without a resolution, the government faces the threat of a shutdown. In order to avoid this calamity, the House and the Senate must pass a spending bill by February 8th. The Senate has already approved a long-term funding package, but Meadows believes that the House Republicans may be unable to come to a similar agreement. The Freedom Caucus, of which Meadows is a destructive voice, is a pro-Trump conservative group in the House and their core argument is that any budget deal should implement spending cuts to programs that are funded by the federal government. Democrats, on the other hand, would prefer to extend funding for programs such as those involving health care and infrastructure investment. Meadows and his colleagues have also voiced their opposition to the budget deal proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). As a result, the Republican leader has been unable to bring a cohesive plan to the voting floor. Additionally, President Trump’s proposal to reduce funding for the Department of Labor has caused a rift among Republicans. Given the current budgetary standoff, Meadows believes that the House will not be able to pass a fiscal spending package that will keep the government running beyond February 8th. He has also called for a continuing resolution, which would allow Congress to pass a short-term spending bill that would delay a potential government shutdown. Meadows’ prediction comes at a difficult time for the Republican party, as the Democrats are poised to control the House come November. With a veto-proof majority, the Democrats could pass their own budget if the Republicans fail to reach a deal. If Meadows is correct, it may be the last budgetary agreement passed with exclusively Republican control.