Rep. Jodey Arrington gives insight into short-term spending bill, government shutdown delay

Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 7:16 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Last week, Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown. Lawmakers agreed on a bipartisan stopgap spending bill mere hours before the deadline to close up shop.

KCBD spoke with Chairman of the House Budget Committee and Lubbock Congressman Jodey Arrington about the situation in Washington. He discussed why it was so difficult to reach consensus and what will happen over the next 45 days.

Arrington says a government shutdown would have inflicted economic pain on millions of hardworking American families. To combat this outcome, he passed a short-term spending bill to fund the government, but Congress has to reach a consensus in the next 45 days.

“If politicians can’t do their job, their basic job of funding the government, why would we put the pain and the consequences of their failure on the American people?” Arrington said.

Arrington stated Congress could not come to an agreement because of what he calls ‘woke’ and wasteful spending expenditures.

“Expanded Obamacare to people making over $400,000 a year, cradle to grave welfare without work requirements,” Arrington said. “I don’t think the taxpayers of West Texas think that it is their responsibility, nor do they think it is appropriate to be funding these things.”

The 45-day extension will keep spending flat, but details of 12 appropriation bills have to be sorted out before the new deadline.

“We do all the necessary things to put our country on a good financial plan, to shave off a debt crisis and to give our children a chance at a hopeful and prosperous life in America,” he said.

Arrington has been outspoken about his priorities for government funding for years. He said border security is a top priority, and he intends to stand on that over the next 45 days.

“I have no interest in funding a government that can’t do its first job, and that is protecting the American people,” he said.

Arrington said, even if a conservative agenda is successful when the appropriations are passed, he will continue to break down on spending and the debt crisis.

“I am gonna continue to be the chief fiscal accountability officer, not just for Congress but for my party and republicans in the House,” he said.

Congress has until Nov. 17 to pass 12 appropriations bills; if it cannot agree, the nation faces another risk of a shutdown next month.

However, the bipartisan bill did not come without consequences: Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy was ousted from his position this afternoon, something Congressman Arrington warned was not a good move for the party during this time.

“We need to be laser-focused on that, any distractions from that will hurt our efforts to get conservative results in the long run,” Arrington said. “There’s a time and place to talk about the things we could have done better, there’s enough responsibility to go around in our party.”

McCarthy was removed as speaker in a 216-210 vote. Arrington voted against his removal.

The effort was led by Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, an outspoken member of the House’s far-right ‘freedom caucus’. He criticized McCarthy for working alongside democrats to pass the stopgap spending bill to keep the government open. This is the first time in history the chamber has removed its leader.