Freedom Caucus Divided on Shutdown

Freedom Caucus Divided on Shutdown

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Members of the hardline conservative Freedom Caucus in the House are debating the desirability of a government shutdown ahead of the midterm elections, Politico reported Thursday. 

Caucus chair Mark Meadows (R-NC) is concerned that a shutdown in October could hurt Republicans’ chances of keeping control of the House and wants to postpone any confrontations over border wall funding and other immigration issues until after the election. “I don’t see a deliberate plan on how we secure our border happening by the end of September, and so having that debate over the next three months is probably more prudent than trying to have it in the next week and a half,” Meadows said Wednesday.

But former chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) is reportedly itching for a fight, sooner rather than later, and is pressing for a confrontation before the fiscal year ends in just over three weeks. Jordan said that immigration “was one of the central issues in the campaign and I think it helps our voters understand that we’re fighting for what we said we would do.”

Both groups within the caucus want a showdown, Politico says, but disagree on the timing. The Freedom Caucus has not taken a position on the matter due the split, and without a strong and consistent voice pushing for showdown, other Republican lawmakers believe they have a better chance of pulling the party back from the shutdown brink.