House Republican leadership and Freedom Caucus negotiate more cuts for next fiscal year

In a meeting Wednesday without Kevin McCarthy present, both sides agreed to get as close as possible to the 2022 numbers.

The Republican Party regained control of the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterm elections and plans to use that majority to influence the next federal budget. House GOP leadership met with leaders of the House Freedom Caucus over the amount of appropriations cuts to propose for fiscal year 2024.

The two sides met Wednesday night to unite positions to get as close as possible to fiscal year 2022 when the figure was $1.471 trillion. What are these allocations? This is money from the federal budget allocated annually to specific government departments, agencies and programs. The House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee handle appropriation bills.

Notable members at the meeting included Tom Emmer (R-MN), Elise Stefanik (chair of the House Republican Conference), Garret Graves (R-LA), Scott Perry, Andy Harris and Ben Cline, the latter three being members of the House Freedom Caucus.

Perry wrote a letter last week signed by 20 other conservatives urging leadership to reduce earmarks toward the 2022 numbers. “Rescissions are useful in reducing spending and we encourage their use, but we cannot support using them to shift funding to the very bureaucrats implementing the Biden agenda at roughly current levels of spending, thereby enshrining and continuing Democrats’ reckless inflationary spending,” he wrote.

John Carter (R-TX), Kevin Hern (R-OK), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Marc Molinaro (R-NY) and Randy Feenstra (R-IO) also participated in the meeting, which reportedly lasted less than two hours.

As reported by Roll Call, “the group discussed the possibility of using a self-executing rule where an amendment to add spending cuts is inserted once the rule for floor debate is adopted, sources said. One source said that the execution of further cuts could come in a manager’s amendment executed in a rule or by stand-alone or en bloc amendments on the floor.”

In the Senate, the environment is a bit more hostile to conservatives as the Democratic majority plans to increase the level of spending by federal agencies. For example, Patty Murray (D-WA), chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced on Thursday that her team will add $13.7 billion in emergency spending to its bills for fiscal year 2024 for no other purpose than to address priorities that otherwise could not be paid for due to the spending limits imposed by the debt limit law.