More than 80 House Republicans have signed onto a letter aiming to increase the pressure on GOP leadership to follow the regular legislative process regarding the budget.
Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) circulated the letter, which urges Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to pass the individual appropriations bills that fund the federal government instead of moving endless stopgap measures known as continuing resolutions.
Republicans tried to pass the appropriations bills — which all fund different agencies — last year, but it’s a tedious process which consumes a lot of time on the House floor. Plus, conservatives spend lots of time trying to craft amendments to cut additional spending, while some Democrats try to plus up federal programs. In order to avoid CRs, the House and Senate need to negotiate the spending bills, come to agreement, pass them through both chambers and send them to President Barack Obama. It’s how the legislative process was designed to work, but with deep divisions in both chambers, it’s a tall task.
Sticking to the regular legislative order is a continuing narrative of this Congress. When Boehner took the speakership in 2011, he was immediately sucked into backroom negotiations with Obama and most of them failed. He suffered some backlash from his colleagues, and in 2013, vowed to keep most negotiations in the open.