Zach Nunn rejects plan that could prevent shutdown

By Ty Rushing

September 28, 2023

Rep. Zach Nunn (R-Iowa) has repeatedly stated he doesn’t support a federal government shutdown; however, he indicated Wednesday he would vote against a short-term deal to prevent said shutdown.

During an interview with the Des Moines Register, Nunn said a US Senate stopgap deal that would fund the government for another six weeks—averting the Oct. 1 shutdown that coincides with the new fiscal year—is likely to fail in the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives.

“I think that’s probably dead on arrival in the House,” Nunn told the Register. “And the reason being is it does nothing to actually cut spending. If anything, it actually adds to the deficit that we’re already doing by advancing a number of programs even the Senate says need to be reformed. Twinned with that, it does very little, if it’s not outright negligent, in addressing border security.”

Although Nunn didn’t specify how he would vote on the stopgap bill in the Register article, his comments do not sound like those of a person who is preparing to vote for a measure that would keep federal employees from working without paychecks and provide $6 billion for disaster relief.

Additionally, Nunn said the stopgap bill doesn’t address border security, though it does continue to pay border patrol agents whereas a shutdown would not, which brings its own set of issues.

“They’re performing that work and supposed to be patrolling those fence lines, well, how much do they suddenly care about their jobs anymore if they are not getting paid,” said Ruark Hotopp, a union rep of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) District 8, which includes Iowa.

The reason the government is on the brink of another shutdown—and the first since 2018— is in-fighting among House Republicans. Republicans won narrow control of the House last November, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has spent much of this year giving in to demands from the far-right wing of his caucus, including those who have proposed extreme spending cuts.

Former President Donald Trump, who is also the Republican primary front-runner and facing a slew of legal issues, egged on the shutdown on his Truth Social platform. Taking note of this, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) issued a statement accusing Nunn of siding with Trump—who endorsed Nunn in 2022—and far-right House Republicans.

“Trump has issued marching orders to Zach Nunn, who has proven he’ll stand with MAGA Republicans over Iowans every time,” said DCCC spokesperson Mallory Payne. “It’s clear he’ll side with extremists again to shut down the government and hurt Iowa families.”

  • Ty Rushing

    Ty Rushing is the Chief Political Correspondent for Iowa Starting Line. He is a trail-blazing veteran Iowa journalist, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and co-founder and president of the Iowa Association of Black Journalists. Send tips or story ideas to [email protected] and find him on social media @Rushthewriter.


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