Representative Matt Gaetz is using a looming federal funding deadline to force the government into a shutdown unless his demands are met. He’s also using it as an opportunity to raise money for his reelection bid.
(Bloomberg) — Representative Matt Gaetz is using a looming federal funding deadline to force the government into a shutdown unless his demands are met. He’s also using it as an opportunity to raise money for his reelection bid.
The Florida Republican is a vocal member of a group of hardline House conservatives blocking deals to fund the government, which is all but certain to shut down on midnight Sunday without Congressional action.
He described the spending battle as a “historic fight to stop a corrupt government funding system” that’s been in place since the 1990s, according to an email his campaign sent to supporters Wednesday.
“Unlike Swamp politicians and their media puppets, we aren’t holding the government hostage. We are holding this Speaker to his word,” the email, captured by Pundit Analytics, said. He asked for donations in amounts ranging from $5 to $100.
Gaetz, one of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s toughest critics, is opposing temporary measures to keep the government open that would allow more time for negotiations. Gaetz says McCarthy promised votes on individual year-long spending bills, which have no chance of being considered in the Democratic-controlled Senate. He has repeatedly threatened to force a vote on ousting McCarthy from his job as speaker if McCarthy doesn’t acquiesce to his demands.
A federal shutdown would mean that federal agencies will cease many functions and government employees will go unpaid for the duration of the shutdown, though they are likely to receive back-pay when it reopens. A prolonged shutdown could affect many households in Gaetz’s district in the Florida panhandle, where nearly 7% of working adults are federal employees.
Gaetz isn’t the only Republican who is using the looming shutdown as an opportunity to ask their supporters for cash.
Wisconsin Republican Scott Fitzgerald asked supporters to tell him whether “Washington’s spending problem needs to be addressed.”
Representative Tim Burchett of Tennessee told donors on Wednesday that he “would vote against any short-term bill to keep the government open.” Because of the $33 trillion national debt, he promised to dig in his heels and send something tough to the Senate. He asked for $15.
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