The conservative lawmaker explained on Fox News how a continuing resolution would provide more time to pass individual bills on spending for various facets of the federal government in the upcoming fiscal year.
“I think a government shutdown is possible. I think it’s avoidable. I think we should avoid it,” Lee told “Sunday Morning Futures” anchor Maria Bartiromo. “I think the best way to proceed at this point would be to pass something that keeps the government funded for a few weeks.”
The GOP-led House of Representatives is on course to advance as many as four appropriations bills in the coming days, Lee noted.
But with only one of a dozen such appropriations bills passed out of the House, time is running out ahead of a possible shutdown at the end of the month.
Leadership in the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle, “year after year, in all of its iterations, has waited until the last minute and written up omnibus spending bills, which it drops on Congress at the worst possible moment,” Lee said.
“Sometimes, they like to extend the deadline up until close to Christmas, and then they use Christmas extortion to get people to vote for it, not wanting to cause a shutdown and be delayed or getting home to their families just before Christmas,” Lee added.
Ultimately, both chambers of Congress and the White House need to come to an agreement for any bill to get final approval.
Spending battles that bring the government to the brink — in some cases leading to a temporary government shutdown — have “got to stop,” Lee said.
The “best way to stop” this cycle, he argued, “is by doing these appropriations bills one by one. Fund one part of government after the other one at a time until it’s all done.”
Lee also said he was unaware of any reason why the House should stop its impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden during a government shutdown.
“There’s nothing suggesting to me that Congress can’t do its work if that happens,” he said. “In any event, we shouldn’t use that as an excuse unilaterally to disarm and to just accede to whatever the Democrats want.”