WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Cautioning against past mistakes, 11 freshmen GOP House members are urging fellow Republicans to avoid a government shutdown by passing a short-term spending bill.
In a letter delivered Tuesday, the lawmakers warned that the potential shutdown, similar to the one in 2013 that cost about $24 billion, would harm the economy and create delays in government programs, such as for veterans' disability claims.
"We are writing today to express our strong support for a funding resolution that will avoid another unnecessary and harmful government shutdown," the letter reads. "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."
Some conservatives, including members of the House Freedom Caucus, are attempting to pressure lawmakers to use the government spending bills as leverage to prevent federal funding for Planned Parenthood, The Hill reported.
The federal government will shut down Oct. 1 if Congress does not come to some agreement.
"We stand together in the effort to keep the government funded beyond Sept. 30 as we continue the fight to pass responsible spending bills that put the taxpayers first," the letter concludes.
When told of the letter, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said it "sounds like good news."
"The reason I think that is good news is that there should be bipartisan acknowledgement that a government shutdown is not in the best interests of the country," Earnest during Wednesday's daily press briefing. "It's certainly not in the best interests of our economy. And while these issues are difficult, it is the fundamental responsibility of the United States Congress to pass a budget every year for the federal government and ensure that the government doesn't shut down."
Earnest said preparations are already being made for a potential government shutdown.
"Well, there is a process that we, unfortunately, are becoming all too familiar with by which the government prepares ... it is only prudent for the federal government to begin planning for the possibility that the government could shut down," Earnest added.