GOP lawmaker highlights lingering divides: ‘It’s the conference against the conference’

It comes after some of those same hardliners banded together to tank a procedural vote on the spending bill dealing with the Departments of Justice and Commerce last week.

Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Mo., said the discord was not a conventional back-and-forth between leadership and rebels, but rather two starkly divided groups of House Republicans.

‘What I think is the real fight, is not between the conference and [Speaker] Mike Johnson. It’s the conference against the conference,’ Burlison, who did not vote to sink the bill but voted against the House GOP’s government funding extension last week, told Fox News Digital on Friday.

‘There is a vast chasm between the mentality of many of the appropriators, who seem to have no appetite for making significant cuts, and folks like us in the Freedom Caucus.’

Lawmakers on the House Appropriations Committee are tasked with cobbling together the 12 spending bills needed to fund the federal government in the next fiscal year. 

GOP hardliners like Burlison have accused those Republicans in charge of spending of trying to exceed the topline numbers set by House Republicans’ Limit, Save, Grow Act. Conservatives have called for the House to adhere to those numbers despite that bill being dead on arrival in the Senate.

Instead, the Senate is writing its appropriations to the topline in President Biden and ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s debt limit deal, the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA). There’s roughly a $120 billion difference between the two maximum levels. 

‘Whether they just don’t recognize the serious financial burdens that we’re at, or they just don’t want to take the responsibility of being the bad guy and making the cuts to their own appropriations, I don’t know what it is, but something has to change,’ Burlison said of appropriators.

‘After McCarthy was vacated, the appropriators decided on their own, that they were going to appropriate to FRA levels. Without anyone in conference having a discussion about it, the appropriators went rogue… that’s what’s angering a lot of people, a lot of conservatives, is the lack of respect to the rest of the conference.’

Burlison called for a meeting between the Republican appropriators and the Freedom Caucus, a request he said had not yet been honored.

Fox News Digital reached out to the House Appropriations Committee but did not immediately hear back. 

Tensions between the House lawmakers in charge of government funding and the GOP’s right flank have grown steadily during the federal spending fight. That tension flared just last month during the race for House speaker, when a significant number of Republicans on the Appropriations Committee became one of the staunchest blocs of opposition against then-candidate Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

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