As the deadline for avoiding a government shutdown approaches on September 30th, the passage of 12 appropriations bills or a continuing resolution hangs in the balance. With House Republicans divided on the way forward, several 2024 GOP primary hopefuls have shared their perspectives on how they would handle the spending fight if they were in the presidential office.
Amidst the looming government shutdown, a number of 2024 Republican presidential candidates have entered the conversation regarding the contentious spending battle taking place in Capitol Hill.
Congress has until September 30th to pass either 12 appropriations bills or a continuing resolution, but internal disagreements within the House Republican party have hindered progress, leading members to adjourn for the weekend on Thursday.
In light of this, GOP primary contenders have voiced their opinions on whether and how Congress should continue funding the government, with some urging House Republicans to follow through on campaign promises, while others propose long-term solutions for spending.
In May, Speaker Kevin McCarthy demonstrated leadership in crisis management by guiding the House’s passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, thus preventing the nation from defaulting on its debt.
This legislation, negotiated between McCarthy and President Joe Biden, allowed the government to acquire unlimited debt until January 1, 2025. It also froze non-defense discretionary spending at Fiscal Year 2022 levels and reclaimed unspent COVID-19 stimulus funds. Recently, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley unveiled her economic policy plan, asserting that members of Congress should not be paid if they fail to pass a budget.
These developments highlight the ongoing efforts of notable figures to shape the narrative and bring attention to the importance of responsible fiscal stewardship.
Amidst the ongoing spending battle, various alliances within the Republican Party have mobilized to present solutions. The conservative House Freedom Caucus and the moderate Main Street Caucus collaborated on a continuing resolution (CR) as a temporary measure to fund the government for another month.
Although the CR incorporated an approximate 8% reduction in non-defense discretionary spending, along with provisions for border security and conservative principles, many House Republicans promptly voiced their opposition to extending government funding through this proposal.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has also voiced his support for House Republicans engaged in the funding fight, stating, “I have your back. Keep fighting,” according to a report by Politico on September 14th.
Furthermore, when asked about the potential avoidance of a government shutdown during his campaign trail in New Hampshire, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, the sole presidential candidate currently serving in Congress, provided remarks that were provided to the DCNF (Daily Caller News Foundation).
These developments signify the collective engagement of notable Republicans in actively addressing the issue at hand.
Former Vice President Mike Pence has expressed the belief that entitlement reform is vital to reducing spending and effectively managing the budget. Moreover, when analyzing the RealClearPolitics average for the 2024 national Republican primary, based on polls conducted between September 6th and 18th, it becomes apparent that former President Donald Trump is leading the crowded field by approximately 45 points.
DeSantis follows with a 12.7% support, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy holds 8.1% support, Haley secures 4.9%, and Pence maintains a 4.1% support. Scott and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are tied with 2.2% support, while all other Republican hopefuls have garnered less than 1% support.
These statistics demonstrate Trump’s enduring popularity among conservatives and the potential challenges faced by other candidates in the race.
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum intends to leverage his successful business background to reduce spending and achieve a balanced budget, as outlined by his campaign. Meanwhile, conservative radio personality Larry Elder has emphasized his commitment to amending the Constitution as a means of rectifying government spending.
As for Trump, Ramaswamy, Christie, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and former Texas Representative Will Hurd, they have yet to respond to requests for comment from the DCNF.