Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson signed onto a letter with other Republicans urging Democrats to not include any new programs in a potential stop-gap spending plan Congress could pass before the end of the month.
Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., will likely pass a continuing resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown, because a comprehensive federal budget has yet to be passed. Simpson and other Republicans on the House Committee on Appropriations don’t want that CR to include new programs not yet approved by Congress.
“At a time of extreme spending and political fatigue, it is simply unacceptable to use a must-pass CR as a legislative vehicle for more wasteful federal spending or completing an array of unfinished political business before the election,” Republicans said in the letter signed by Simpson.
The Republicans’ letter to Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., says the CR could include billions in spending that they find objectionable. That includes carrying over as much as $10 billion in unused federal stimulus money, a potential $5.5 billion bailout of the U.S. Postal Service, funding Pell Grants for college students for next year, and $1.9 billion for new Race to the Top grants for public schools.
“Decisions on increases for programs should be decided through the regular process where such increases can be weighed against reductions in other programs,” the letter said.
The CR would need to be passed as a joint resolution by both the House and Senate before the federal government starts its next fiscal year on Oct. 1.