In a surprising twist, former President Donald Trump disrupted ongoing House Republican negotiations over government funding. As per Mediaite News on September 20, 2023, just as the GOP seemed to be edging closer to a solution preventing a government shutdown, Trump’s unexpected demand on Truth Social rattled the political landscape.
Facing federal prosecution from Special Counsel Jack Smith, Trump wants the House Republicans to “defund” Smith’s team. These charges against Trump involve government document retention and his endeavors to negate the 2020 election results.
With the funding deadline approaching on September 30th, Speaker Kevin McCarthy has been rallying support for a proposal that guarantees government funding continuity. Nevertheless, he’s met resistance, notably from hardliners like Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is pushing for separate spending bills instead of one large package.
McCarthy’s response? A proposed 30-day stopgap bill to avert immediate government closure, buying time to work on Gaetz’s proposed 12 separate spending packages.
Yet, Trump’s sudden interference complicated things further. Likening his statement’s impact to the Kool-Aid Man crashing a party, he spotlighted the looming deadline and pressed Republicans to “defund all aspects of Crooked Joe Biden’s weaponized Government.”
Such a move, however, faces stiff resistance. With the Senate under Democratic control and President Joe Biden at the helm, defunding Smith’s office appears improbable. But Trump’s call has stirred his congressional allies. For instance, Rep. Matt Gaetz, in August, sought to censure the judge overseeing Trump’s D.C. trial, following Trump’s frequent online critiques.
This new curveball from Trump further muddies the waters of an already turbulent funding negotiation. As the September 30th deadline nears, this sudden change might significantly influence the government’s continuity.