Schumer warns GOP: Listening to Freedom Caucus a 'recipe for chaos'
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTo make the House of Representatives work again, make it bigger Reforms can stop members of Congress from using their public office for private gain Election Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' MORE (D-N.Y.) is warning Republicans that demands from the conservative House Freedom Caucus could make it harder to reach a government funding deal.

"If they cooperate with Democrats they can accomplish something. To just let the Freedom Caucus dictate [is] a recipe for chaos," Schumer said from the Senate floor. 

He pointed to members of the House Freedom Caucus holding up a vote on Monday night on going to conference on the tax bill as part of an effort to protest leadership's plans for a two-week stopgap spending bill. 

Schumer called the floor drama "hostage taking" that will "only impede the serious ongoing bipartisan negotiations." 

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"If we're going to solve all the problems that confront us before the end of the year, House leaders cannot let the Freedom Caucus, a small band of hard right reactionary conservatives, run the show," he said. 

Lawmakers face a Dec. 8 deadline to fund the government and avoid a shutdown.  
 
GOP leadership has lined up behind a two-week bill that would expire on Dec. 22.  But House conservatives want a longer continuing resolution (CR), floating Dec. 30 or potentially into January as an alternate timeline. 
 
 
"It's a clean bill, free from any sort of objectionable policy riders. ... All members should be able to support this noncontroversial short-term legislation," he said. 
 
Though Senate GOP leadership expects most of its members to support a two-week bill, they will need help from Democrats to meet a 60-vote procedural requirement and to speed up consideration of the legislation ahead of Friday's deadline. 
 
Democrats have yet to take a position on the two-week CR as they look for leverage on a long-term deal that negotiators are hoping to wrap up later this month.
 
Schumer outlined Democratic priorities for any agreement, including a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, opioid funding and parity on defense and nondefense spending increases.