Looking at you, Mitch! House Republicans play hardball with GOP Senate, warn consequences for omnibus

In what was characterized as “a race to the finish line” for the 117th Congress, Democratic and Republican appropriators have reached an agreement on a “sprawling” $1.7 trillion fiscal 2023 omnibus spending bill.

That’s according to Roll Call, which reported that the 4,155-page spending bill “not only covers the dozen annual spending bills for every federal agency, plus supplemental aid for the war in Ukraine and natural disaster victims, but also an extensive set of unrelated policies such as horseracing industry rules and a TikTok ban on government-issued devices.”

But a group of 13 Republican congressmen is calling on their GOP colleagues in the Senate to kill the massive lame-duck spending bill that effectively handcuffs the new Republican-led House in 2023, and they have the backing of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

“We are obliged to inform you,” the lawmakers said in a letter to GOP senators, “that if any omnibus passes in the remaining days of this Congress, we will oppose and whip opposition to any legislative priority of those senators who vote for this bill — including the Republican leader.”

“Senate Republicans have the 41 votes necessary to stop this and should do so now and show the Americans who elected you that they weren’t wrong in doing so,” the letter added. “This slated omnibus spending bill is an indefensible assault on the American people. It is an assault on the separation of powers. It is an assault on fiscal responsibility. It is an assault on basic civic decency.”

The letter was signed by Reps. and Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Bob Good (R-VA), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Scott Perry (R-PA), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), Eli Crane (R-AZ), Andrew Clyde (R-GA), and Andy Ogles (R-TN).

“Agreed. Except no need to whip—when I’m Speaker, their bills will be dead on arrival in the House if this nearly $2T monstrosity is allowed to move forward over our objections and the will of the American people,” McCarthy said in a reply to the letter seen in the tweet above from Roy.

Roy also tweeted, “To every member of @HouseGOP leadership… It’s not enough to blame the Senate. Killing a massive omnibus spending bill taking away our leverage to force change, and which should have been dead months ago, is a baseline.”

He took to the House floor last week to slam the Democrat-controlled spending bill.

“We know what this is about. This is jamming through a bill at the 11th hour to get the political priorities of the current Democratic majority and a handful of Senate Republicans are happy to do it so they can get pork,” the Texas Republican charged.

Included in the $1.7 trillion spending bill is a legislative fix sought by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., whose home state is the horseracing capital of America. The provision upgrades a law designed to make horse racing safer after an appeals court last month ruled it unconstitutional, Reuters reported, providing greater federal oversight of the board charged with writing and implementing safety rules.

Other features of the bill include $858 billion in defense-related spending, a nearly 10 percent increase over the previous fiscal year, according to Roll Call, with the outlet pointing out that Republicans who back the bill celebrated the increase that includes a 4.6 percent pay raise for military servicemembers and Pentagon civilian employees. The bill also appropriates nearly $85 billion for the Ukraine military.

Other Republicans who oppose the bill are seen here:

Sen. Rand Paul has also slammed his party for being willing to go along with Democrats.

“But the other thing is, 41 votes would stop the big spending. If 41 [Senate Republicans] said no and held our ground until there was a compromise, we could force Democrats to reduce spending,” Paul said last week. “We have completely and totally abdicated the power of the purse. Republicans are emasculated. They have no power, and they are unwilling to gain that power back.”


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Tom Tillison


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