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The Hill
The Hill
5 Jan 2024
Alex Gangitano


NextImg:OMB Director Young: GOP trip to border ‘left me with more concerns’ about shutdown

Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said Friday that the House Republicans’ trip to the border this week left her with growing concerns over whether a partial government shutdown can be avoided later this month.

“I know all of you saw the trip to the border … some of the things that came out of that also further concerned me about the path they are headed towards in 14 days,” Young told reporters at an event hosted by Christian Science Monitor.

“14 days — I’m typically optimistic, but don’t mark me down as optimistic this morning, especially after some of the remarks I’ve seen over the last couple of days since the border,” Young added.

House and Senate conservatives have threatened to defund the government unless Democrats can reach a deal to secure the southern border. Conservatives see threatening the regular spending bills as leverage to get President Biden to address the influx of migrants.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) led a group of about 60 other House Republicans on Wednesday to the U.S.-Mexico border at Eagle Pass, Texas.

“Earlier this week and the border trip left me with more concerns about where they’re headed. This wasn’t some of the flame throwers you typically hear this from, they weren’t on the border trip. This is not a small fringe number of House Republicans,” Young said.

“So I’m going to take them at their word on this one and try our best to work with those who know this is a bad road for the country to see if we can find a coalition of the willing to do the right thing.”

Young said that talks over government funding before this week were “in good faith,” but added “the rhetoric this week has concerned me.”

“History has shown us that leadership can work in good faith and then they go into a raucous conference room after a trip to the border, you know, and the sentiment of ‘we’ll shut the government down, we control the money’ wins out the day,” she said.

“I’ve been taught to believe what people tell you and what they show you and there are a growing number of House Republicans with this mindset,” she added. “So, I wouldn’t say pessimistic but I’m not optimistic.”

Young said it seems like “a daunting task” for appropriators to finish the first four bills by Jan. 18 and threats of a shutdown over the border “is not a great thing for the country.”

The government would enter a partial shutdown if Congress does not provide funding for military construction and the departments of Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Energy, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development by Jan. 19.

The rest of the government must be funded by Feb. 2.