WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congress is working to reach a deal on next year’s budget before October to prevent a government shutdown. A handful of House republicans said they are not afraid of a government shutdown, demanding that congress cuts even more to government spending.  

“Back in January when this new congress formed when we voted in a Speaker, there was an agreement to go back to pre-COVID level spending for non-defense discretionary spending,” said Rep. Bob Good (R- VA).  

Congressional members in the House Freedom Caucus, a far-right republican group, said the debt ceiling deal reached by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R- CA) and President Biden doesn’t do enough spending cuts. They’re looking to claw back around 115 million dollars within appropriations bills.  

Recently the House voted to approve republican amendments to a spending bill that would instruct defense officials to roll back policies that provide support to service members who travel out of state to get an abortion and that fund diversity, equity and inclusion programs. They also prohibited specialized health care services for transgender troops. Democrats have argued republicans have included these measures on what should be a mostly bipartisan bill and are hijacking these spending bills to continue anti-abortion care.  

“We ought to be spending money on ships, planes, cyber security, not for transgender surgeries,” said Rep. Ralph Norman (R- SC). “Not for puberty bondage. Not for the woke programs, the diversity equity and inclusion.”  

While republicans argue the defense spending levels should remain essentially untouched, congress has until September 30th to approve a budget to prevent a federal shutdown which could impact hundreds of thousands of federal workers and depending on how long a shutdown lasts, could impact the US economy.  

“We should not fear a government shutdown,” said Rep. Good. “We are gonna pass a republican bill out of the House and force the White House and the Senate to accept it or else we’re not gonna move forward.” 

The republicans in the House Freedom Caucus said they don’t believe it will come down to a government shutdown but if push comes to shove, they expect a short-term continuing resolution to pass to temporarily keep the government funded until they can all come to a budget agreement.