Residence GOP’ s 2023 outlook: Fiscal warfare

Justice Department

As the GOP prepares for retaking the House, the right side is eager to cut spending, end the federal safety net, and make Trump-era tax reductions permanent. These are ambitions that could give leadership a two-year headache.

In two weeks, Republicans would be able to regain the House majority. This would give them more leverage in the next year’s most important budget and spending battles. Some conservatives are already determined to use the debt limit and government funds to get major concessions from Democrats such as restoring federal spending caps and overhauling Social Security and Medicare.


However, tight Senate margins and a Democratic President would make it difficult for GOP leaders to deliver the party’s most extreme fiscal wishes. At least while President Joe Biden is still in office. This disappointment will undoubtedly provoke a backlash from right-leaning Republicans, already the party’s most vexing thorns.

“Spare Me if you are a Republican who puts up your frigging campaign site, ‘Trust us, I will vote to amend the balanced budget, and I believe that we should balance our budget like every family here in America’,” Rep. Chip Roy (R.Texas), said in an interview.

Roy reminded his fellow Republicans that there are two simple leverage points. These are when government funding is discussed and when the debt ceiling is debated. “And the only thing that matters is whether or not leadership will use that leverage.”

Roy is also a member of the Republican Study Committee, which is the largest caucus for House GOP lawmakers. In June, it released a budget that proposed making Trump-era individual tax reductions permanent and gradually increasing the eligibility age for Social Security or Medicare among other significant changes.

Democrats are already trying to remind voters that the GOP is interested in fiscal hardball. They want to reduce taxes for high-income earners, rattle entitlements, and tee up a debt limit standoff which will be one of the most important fights in Congress in 2023. Republicans such as Rep. Jim Jordan from Ohio, a co-founder of Freedom Caucus, have indicated that they are ready to maximize their leverage.

“When 75 percent of House Republicans endorse severe Medicare and Social Security cut, and top Republicans openly discuss threatening a world economic catastrophe to force them into legislation, it’s evident this would be a very real threat under a GOP House,” Henry Connelly, a spokesperson from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. This is not loose Republican talk. It is a serious and increasingly specific plan that has high stakes for both the economy and the seniors’ financial security.

Rep. Jason Smith from Missouri, who is the top Republican on Budget Committee and is vying to be the senior slot on Ways and Means next, stated in a statement that they would support financial concessions as part of a debt limit agreement. He stated that a rise in the debt limit has been associated with reforms to curb and cut Washington spending and impose fiscal restraints upon Congress on multiple occasions.

Smith stated that “the American people expect Congress will use every tool it has to combat rising costs, strengthen our economy and bring down our energy prices to fix our supply chains, and to right-size the federal government.”

Even if Republicans win a Senate majority, their narrow margins and a Democratic president with the veto power would be major obstacles to enacting conservative budget cuts as part of an agreement lifting the borrowing limit. To fulfill their red lines, Republicans would need to accept the risk of defaulting on the nation’s national debt. This would be a dangerous move that could threaten the health and stability of the global economy.

House Republicans
House Republicans

Democrats insist that they aren’t afraid. Biden stated Friday that it would not be responsible to remove the debt ceiling in order to avoid future fights.

The president stated, “Let’s be clear: I won’t yield.” “I will not reduce Social Security. No matter how hard people work, I won’t cut Medicare.

Lawmakers have always raised the national borrowing limit. Failure to do so will likely increase the negative effects of record inflation. After a long standoff, both parties came together in December to increase the debt limit to almost $31 trillion.

If Democrats maintain their majority in the House or Senate, they can still use the budget’s filibuster protections to raise the debt ceiling. The party refused to take that route last year and instead roped in Republicans for a fight.

GOP House
GOP House

A GOP House majority could mean a return to 2011 when Republicans used the debt ceiling to secure spending caps from President Barack Obama. After all the pain, Congress lifted those caps until they expired a decade after that.

Fiscal conservatives also demand that Republican leaders reject any government funding agreement that is put together before the end of the year. They will wait until 2023, when they are in the majority, to pass a funding package that restores spending levels under President Donald Trump.

Some Republicans are determined to block any funding agreement that would allow Biden to get the border wall money. Jordan stated that he would like to use spending bills in order to curb what he considers politicization by the Justice Department or the FBI. Rep. Randy Weber from Texas stated that Republicans should use appropriations legislation to put more emphasis on fossil fuels.

However, the party’s most fiscal hawks seem to have lost funding from the government as a leverage point in the short term. Republican appropriators would be happy to reach a deal before Dec. 16 when government funding ends. They argue that this would clear the slate for January’s 118th Congress and allow the Pentagon to deal with inflation.

Some Republicans also want to reach a funding agreement for fiscal 2023 in December. This is partly because of spending disputes and factional wars.

Even if this happens, the Republican House majority will eventually have to deal with funding fiscal 2024. This year’s fiscal year begins on October 1st.

Rep. Mike Simpson from Idaho, who is the top Republican responsible for energy and water spending, stated that “I want to begin fresh next year.” “The truth is that next year’s appropriations will be difficult.”

Although the House could pass a funding agreement before the end of the year with no GOP votes, it would require support from at least 10 Senate Republicans across the Capitol to avoid a filibuster.

A spokesperson for Minority leader Kevin McCarthy didn’t respond several times to requests for comment about his approach to government funding and the debt limit. Roy stated that it would be a failure for the party not to fight on discretionary spending, which accounts for about a third of the federal budget.

However, Rep. Tom Cole (R.Okla.), a veteran Appropriator, gave conservatives a reality check in advance.

Cole stated that even with a House majority, the president is still the President and the filibuster in the Senate are still there.

Cole said that his fiscal-hawk coworkers “don’t vote to pass the bills anyway, so they’ve kind of dealt themselves out.” … They demand things that are not possible in a bipartisan process.

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