Republican senators are speaking out against Democrats’ efforts to pass a huge spending bill before Jan. 3, when the GOP retakes the House majority.
“The American people voted for a Republican House, and it would be a slap in the face to those voters for Republicans in the Senate to allow [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi to set the agenda for the next 10 months with a huge omnibus spending bill,” Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., told The Daily Signal in an email.
“I always vote against [continuing resolutions], but in this case I would support a [continuing resolution] that takes us up to Jan. 3 so the GOP House can negotiate this bill instead of Speaker Nancy Pelosi giving us another 10 months of the Biden agenda,” Braun said of the California Democrat.
Braun weighed in on whether the omnibus spending bill could pass before the next Congress convenes and warned of the political consequences Republicans could face in future elections should a spending bill pass during the lame-duck session.
“Well, politically, that has not occurred, I think, in 50 years where the House changed in terms of who was running it to where you would have done this at the tail end of a calendar year,” Braun told The Daily Signal in a separate phone interview in which he cited the position of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., expected to become the next House speaker.
“It’s never happened, so why [are we] helping orchestrate that, especially when McCarthy has been as clear as anyone can be? Bring it over to us next year. Don’t do this as a going-away present for Nancy Pelosi,” the Indiana Republican said, before adding Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to the equation.
And then that would beg the question, why would the main appropriators in the leadership on our side of the aisle in the Senate want to help Schumer and Pelosi out?
Yes, I think there’ll be political consequences. I think it’s going to be another thing that disheartens a lot on our side, my side of the aisle. And I think that shows up in political results down the road. So [it’s] all part of a complicated dynamic.
The office of Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., told The Daily Signal in an email that he would not support a spending bill before the new Congress, and his goal is to “stop any bill until the new Congress.”
Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rick Scott, R-Fla., also have urged against passing a spending bill before the new Congress, notably in a Fox News op-ed earlier this week.
“It’s time for Republicans to stand together and force Democrats to compromise. We cannot cave and give Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., a multitrillion-dollar gift right after she’s been fired as speaker of the House,” the senators wrote. “To ignore the clear results of the recent election by locking in and fully funding the Pelosi-Schumer spending agenda just weeks before the new Congress begins would be an unforgivable betrayal of the will of American voters.”
“The American people have made their voices heard. It’s time to end the madness and get our house in order, before it’s too late,” Lee and Scott added.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also spoke out on the omnibus spending bill, echoing the calls for Republicans not to vote for it.
“Merry Christmas, America. The Democrats and big-government Republicans will be offering you a Christmas tree. A Christmas tree in Washington is a bill that has something on it for everyone,” Paul said at a Wednesday press conference. “You won’t know what it is until you get it. You won’t be able to read it until it’s done, but it will happen because the only thing that invariably happens in Washington is they will get together to spend money.”
Democrats and big-government Republicans every year pass a budget, but it’s a … spending bill that has no budget. It’ll be a spending bill in which everything is glommed together in one bill. It’ll be a spending bill of thousands of pages long and no one will have read it. No one will have encompassed the entire bill and it’ll be given with only hours to read it, and then there will be a reversal of blame.
The blame won’t attach to the people [who did this], who frankly I wouldn’t put in charge of running a Minit Mart because of their lack of business sense. It won’t attach to people who put together, cobbled together a multithousand-page bill in the dead of night, didn’t show it to anyone, and put it forward. They will say, “No, if you vote ‘no,’ you are for shutting down the government.”
Paul said he is “not for shutting down the government,” but “for spending less money and accumulating less debt.”
“Not a single appropriations bill has moved through subcommittee, committee, or come to the floor of the Senate this Congress,” Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., told The Daily Signal in an email. “As of today, no one has seen any of the contents of the omnibus spending bill that is supposedly coming up for a vote next week. In three weeks, Republicans will be in control of the House of Representatives; there is no reason not to wait until that moment to allow both parties to speak into the budget.”
The House advanced a “stopgap bill” Wednesday that would continue to fund existing programs and give Congress until next Friday, Dec, 23, to finalize an omnibus spending package, CNN reported. The bill passed 224-201 and is now up for a Senate vote .
Nine House Republicans voted for the bill, Townhall reported: Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Fred Upton of Michigan, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Steve Womack of Arkansas, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Chris Jacobs of New York, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, and John Katko of New York.
Republican leadership in the House spoke out earlier this week against Democrats’ efforts to pass an omnibus spending bill during the current lame-duck session following the Nov. 8 midterm elections.
“We’re 20 days before the new members are being sworn in. We’ve got two members leading appropriations in the Senate who will no longer be here or be able to be held accountable to the constituents,” McCarthy said at a press conference Wednesday.
The House’s top Republican was referring to negotiations between Sens. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., on what would be in the spending bill, despite the fact that both senators will leave office Jan. 3.
“We’ve got an omni bill that takes 12 appropriation bills and puts them all together, and adds the baseline somewhere about $100 billion,” said McCarthy, who secured his party’s nomination for the House speakership last month.
Other House Republicans, including Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, have called on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to stop the spending bill until the GOP is in charge of the House next year, National Review reported.
“I’m looking at Mitch McConnell when I say this: Do your job, Leader McConnell! Do your job and follow the wishes of the American people who gave a majority to Republicans in the House of Representatives,” Roy said. “And let’s STOP this bill.”
Pelosi and Schumer did not immediately respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment.
This report was updated within an hour of publication to include Lankford’s statement.
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