GOP freshmen warn against shutdown
© Greg Nash

Eleven House GOP freshmen are urging fellow Republicans to pass a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown next week.

The lawmakers, which include members of the centrist Main Street Partnership, warned that another shutdown like the one that occurred in 2013 would harm the economy and cause delays in government programs like research at the National Institutes of Health and veterans' disability claims.

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"As freshman Members of the House Republican Conference, we were elected by our constituents to be principled, pragmatic leaders. They expect us to fulfill our responsibilities, avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, and live up to our commitment to work every day to help keep the American economy moving forward," they wrote in a letter to the House GOP conference.

Many conservatives, including members of the House Freedom Caucus, are pressuring leadership to use the government spending bill as leverage to block federal funds for Planned Parenthood. The Senate is expected to vote this week on advancing such a measure but fail to surpass a Democratic filibuster.

"We believe Congress should complete its work and provide funding for the federal government through September 30, 2016, but we are willing to support a short-term resolution that will give both the House and the Senate the additional time necessary to negotiate final spending numbers," they wrote.

The letter was spearheaded by Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Ryan Costello (R-Pa.), who both frequently align themselves with Republican leaders. Other signatories included GOP Reps. Mimi Walters (Calif.), Dan Donovan (N.Y.), John Katko (N.Y.), Carlos Curbelo (Fla.), Cresent Hardy (Nev.), Bruce Poliquin (Maine), Martha McSally (Ariz.) and Tom MacArthur (N.J.), as well as Del. Amata Radewagen (American Samoa).

The federal government will shut down on Thursday, Oct. 1 absent congressional action. House Republicans are expected to huddle Friday morning to discuss their options.