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Some House GOP members are increasingly doubtful that Republicans will achieve any conservative political victories on issues such as abortion, green energy, student loan forgiveness and preventing biological men from competing against women. girls in high school sports.

When House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., unveiled details of a bipartisan plan to fund the government earlier this year, he did so with a promise that it would give House Republicans more time to fight for the inclusion of conservative policies in any spending deal they reach.

But Republicans who spoke to Fox News Digital said the debate over including such policies is at best stalemate.

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“I think that’s the sticking point right now, that we’re fighting for them and the opposition is fighting just as hard against them,” a Republican lawmaker close to the appropriations process told Fox News Digital.

Byron Donalds speaks to reporters

U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) speaks to reporters as he leaves a Republican House candidate forum where congressmen running for Speaker of the House presented their platforms in the House Office Building of Longworth on Capitol Hill on October 23, 2023 in Washington DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Asked how he thinks negotiations are going, Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., bluntly told Fox News Digital: “I don’t think they’re going well.”

“My position with both President McCarthy and President Johnson was that we should cut spending as much as we can in the House…the Senate wants more money, so you’re buying politics,” Donalds said. “In my opinion, securing the border is the only possible political victory and we should do everything we can to make that happen.”

Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., unveiled an agreement for appropriators to work toward fiscal 2024 funding levels with a maximum discretionary budget of about $1.66 trillion. Dollars.

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In a Jan. 7 letter to his House Republican colleagues, Johnson admitted that next year’s budget forecast was not as low-spending as members of his right flank wanted. But he argued that the plan “provides us with a path to: 1) move the process forward; 2) reprioritize funding within the top line toward conservative goals, rather than last year’s Schumer-Pelosi omnibus; and 3) fight by the important political riders included in our FY24 House bills.”

It was always going to be an uphill battle for Republican leaders to achieve those victories, with only a slim three-seat majority in the House and Democrats controlling the Senate and the White House. However, Republicans are pressuring Johnson to deliver, even on measures that Democrats have considered unsuccessful.

Schumer talks about foreign aid

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., discusses next steps for the foreign aid package for Ukraine and Israel the day after the collapse of the bipartisan Senate border security bill, on Capitol Hill. Washington, on Wednesday, February 7, 2024. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The House Freedom Caucus reminded Johnson of that promise in a Wednesday memo demanding more information about the status of those talks and outlining several policy demands, including cutting Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ salary to $0 and banning of the use of Pentagon dollars to finance trips to obtain an abortion.

Other policy goals listed include blocking President Joe Biden’s progressive policy agendas on green energy and student loan forgiveness, and culture war elements such as banning transgender youth born male from competing on women’s sports teams.

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The memo to Johnson then cast doubt on the House GOP’s ability to achieve those policy goals, with the conservative group warning: “If we are not going to secure significant policy changes or even keep spending below adopted limits by bipartisan majorities less than a year ago, why would we proceed when we could instead pass a year-long funding resolution that would save Americans $100 billion in the first year? “I don’t know if “(House Republican negotiators) are really fighting,” said a senior House Republican aide.

Michael Johnson

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, said “a formal vote on the impeachment inquiry will allow (Republicans) to take the next necessary step.” (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Calls to Johnson’s office seeking comment were not returned.

Under a plan negotiated by Johnson late last year and extended in January, government funding levels from the last Congress for some departments expire on March 1, while others run out on March 8. If an agreement is not reached in time, the government risks falling into a partial shutdown.

By Sam