Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida sent a letter Tuesday to Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Catherine Szpindor requesting to have his pay withheld until the government is funded.
“It is my understanding that pursuant to the Constitution, members of Congress will continue to receive their pay during a lapse in appropriations. Therefore, I am requesting that in the case of a lapse of appropriations beginning at 12:00 a.m. on October 1, 2023, my pay be withheld until legislation has taken effect to end such lapse in appropriations in its entirety,” said Gaetz.
Gaetz has consistently pushed for Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California to keep his January promise and bring individual, single-subject spending bills to the House floor to be voted on with open amendments to avoid a shutdown.
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On Sunday, Gaetz disputed claims that a supposed government shutdown, which may occur next week if a new budget plan is not adopted, will hinder Republican lawmakers from investigating President Joe Biden’s corruption.
Appearing on FOX News Channels’ Sunday Morning Futures with host Maria Bartiromo, the Fort Walton Beach Republican told host Maria Bartiromo that her “premise was false” by suggesting that the GOP would pull back even if government operations temporarily halt.
Gaetz and other conservatives are rejecting a proposal that would continue to fund the government at current levels until a new budget is adopted. Gaetz has said Speaker Kevin McCarthy must live by the compromise that got him elected in January and allow spending bills to be voted on individually rather than in one massive package.
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“We don’t put our pencils down in the investigation of President Biden during a shutdown,” said Gaetz. “Secondly, if Kevin McCarthy was actually serious about pursuing the Bidens, he would have sent Hunter Biden a subpoena by now. That’s how you know this is sort of failure theater you’re observing.”
Gaetz added that he wants to fund the government, but the way to do that is not to continue on the same path Washington has used for 30 years.
“The way to fund the government is not by doing it the same way Congress has since the mid-90s, where it’s one up or down vote on the entire government all at once. We should have separate single-subject spending bills. Kevin McCarthy promised that in January. He is in breach of that promise. So, I’m not here to hold the government hostage. I’m here to hold Kevin McCarthy to his word,” Gaetz said.
As an example, he cited the budget bill for the Department of Homeland Security, which has not received a vote despite being pushed out of the committee process in June.
A second Florida Republican, Rep. Greg Steube said on Monday that his constituents back a government shutdown if it means reining in Washington’s out-of-control spending.
“I can tell you this,” the Sarasota Republican told Newsmax host Chris Salcedo in an interview, “my district supports shutting down the government if it means that we will get a more conservative bill that would cut spending, that would secure the border, that would do all the things that Americans put us in charge of the House to do.”
Steube was responding to Salcedo’s question about whether House Republicans possessed the will to break the “corrupt cycle” of funding the federal government.
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The host noted that Congress’ usual pattern, including among Republicans, is to wait until the last minute and then force rank-and-file GOP lawmakers to support “wasteful and pro-Democrat” continuing resolutions under the threat of a supposed shutdown.
The congressman noted that many of the still unresolved spending bills passed through the House committee system back in the summer.
“Why did we wait until we got back from the August recess to start doing the appropriations process? Why didn’t we go through this in June and July?” he said.
“So we’ve put ourselves — the [Republican] leadership — has put ourselves in a position where there’s not a lot of choice,” Steube continued.
“We have the power to do this,” he added. “We have to stand firm for the American people.”
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