Politics

Some Republicans considering government shutdown as negotiation tactic as deadline approaches

WASHINGTON — Some Republicans in Congress now say they’re willing to shut down the government if Democrats don’t meet their demands.

It’s a potentially unpopular position in an election year, but several Republicans say border security and debt reductions are worth it.

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Right now, the U.S. is operating under a 2-part funding plan that expires Jan. 19 and Feb. 2.

Some conservatives say letting the clock run out could pressure Democrats into more spending cuts and tighter border security.

“There’s a likelihood we could have a week or two, you know, short-term shutdown,” said Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, the Republican Study Committee Chair.

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Several of these Republicans held an event on Wednesday afternoon to explain that position and have support from a few GOP leaders.

“There are only some very rare exceptions and extenuating circumstances. The border is one of those,” said Rep. Jodey Arrington, the House Budget Committee Chair from Texas.

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But, the group doesn’t speak for the whole party.

“We absolutely cannot have a government shutdown,” said Sen. Shelly Moore of West Virginia.

“It’s just a small minority, and unfortunately, we just have a small majority,” said Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida.

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Past polling suggests that shutdowns are unpopular, and this is an election year.

Speaker Mike Johnson says House and Senate leaders are working on a long-term bipartisan plan. Democrats are signaling they could support it, but working across the aisle is what cost Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy the gavel.

“But people are saying that at home, and they do not want to see our Republican Speaker of the House getting rolled in these meetings behind closed doors,” said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

GOP sources say party leaders have floated the idea of another stop-gap funding plan, but they’d rather pass a long-term bill.

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