Rep. Mike SimpsonMIchael (Mike) Keith SimpsonRivers, hydropower and climate resilience The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate path uncertain after House approves Jan. 6 panel Overnight Energy: Biden reportedly will pledge to halve US emissions by 2030 | Ocasio-Cortez, Markey reintroduce Green New Deal resolution MORE (R-Idaho) accused fellow Republican lawmakers of using potential government shutdowns as a "tool" that ultimately undermines the rest of the party.
In a scathing column released over the weekend, Simpson didn't mince words about the strategy adopted by hard-liners in his party during the fight over blocking President Obama's executive actions on immigration through a bill funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) this month.
"Instead, a faction of my Republican colleagues see obstructionist tactics like shutting down the government, or one of its most important agencies, as just another tool in the construction of a manufactured crises. This small segment of Republicans voted to shut down the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a vote two weeks ago at the deadline — and they represent the most irresponsible, unrealistic, and ineffective segment of our Republican caucus," Simpson wrote.
Simpson accused the hard-liners, primarily members of the nascent Freedom Caucus, of making the party look dysfunctional and ineffective.
Simpson, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, noted that the far right's strategy in 2013 of shutting down the entire federal government over trying to defund ObamaCare didn't accomplish any policy goals. He argued that the divided GOP has given Democrats far more power in the minority.
“The majority of the Republican caucus has given ample opportunities for this loud minority to play-out their strategy. However, this small faction has failed to achieve any conservative victories and led our party so far astray that the Democrats have been able to exert influence in the absence of a united Republican party," Simpson said.
The Idaho Republican suggested that hard-liners are jeopardizing a "critical and extremely short window of time" left to the GOP before the next election cycle to prove the party can govern.
“My pro-shutdown colleagues project Constitutional principles but they’re conveniently forgetting their own Constitutional responsibilities to fund the U.S. Government and, ‘provide for the common defense.’
“My pro-shutdown colleagues supported John Boehner for Speaker, before opposing him, then supporting him again, and now criticizing him. By undermining Republican leadership at every turn, the pro-shutdown minority has compromised our ability to pass conservative priorities that focuses on governing efficiently and effectively," Simpson said.