TIPP: McConnell’s ominous moves and the many problems it creates

(Photo by Sarah Silbiger-Pool/Getty Images)

By TIPPINSIGHTS EDITORIAL BOARD, TIPP Insights

The GOP won the popular vote 52.5% to 47.5% in the recently concluded November midterm elections.

In the new Congress, the GOP will control the House with 222 seats, nine more than the Democrats’ 213. Americans elected the new Republican-led House to serve as a check to the Democratic-controlled Senate and the White House.

The current lame-duck Congress has 16 days to go and will conclude on January 3, 2023.

In the Senate, Mitch McConnell is working with Chuck Schumer to pass an omnibus spending bill. The omnibus bill will fund the government for fiscal 2023, which ends on September 30 next year. The bill will approve hundreds of billions in spending above the current services baseline.

Appearing in a recent Larry Kudlow TV show, Senator Marsha Blackburn expressed her disapproval. She said, “We’re going to spend over $6 trillion with a ‘t’ – $6 trillion. We have not seen the omnibus bill. We are hearing that it is full of earmarks and special interest projects. That is something that I oppose. I think it would be a good thing to do to let the House Republicans take a swing at this thing, see if they can reset some of these baseline numbers.”

If the Senate passes the omnibus bill, it will pass in the House, and President Biden will sign it into law.

There are many problems with this approach.

First, it will tie the hands of the new House to set spending priorities till fiscal 2024. The bill ignores the people’s will by letting the exiting Congress set the spending agenda for the coming year.

Second, passing an omnibus bill will set a bad precedent. Since 1954, control of the House has changed five times, and no Congress passed an omnibus spending bill before a new House majority takes power.

Third, profligate Democratic spending is the root cause of inflation. A liberal fiscal policy is counterproductive when the Fed is raising interest rates to tame inflation. That makes it critical for the GOP House to correct course.

Fourth, it is wrong to rush through a bill that lets trillions of dollars in spending with no one knowing what is in it. Senator Kennedy, a member of the appropriations committee, recently confessed that he did not know what was in the omnibus bill. He said the omnibus almost always contains what he called ‘spending porn.’

Passing the omnibus bill a few days before the new Congress begins is undemocratic, unAmerican, and thwarts the people’s will.

The alternative is not a government shutdown. A short-term spending bill that maintains current federal spending levels till the new House can pass a bill is a better option.

To stop the bill, 41 senators must vote “no.” The bill will pass if at least ten Republicans vote in favor in the current 50-50 Senate, assuming all Democrats vote in unison.

Mitch McConnell’s lack of leadership is demoralizing. It is unfathomable why he is working against the best interests of the Republican House.

Many Republicans think McConnell thwarted the GOP takeover of the Senate. He starved GOP Senate candidates in Arizona and Pennsylvania of money while funding Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, who was running against another Republican.

His appalling behavior adds salt to the unhealed wounds and worsens things.

In a recent Golden/TIPP Poll completed early this month, only 29% of Republicans approved his leadership in the Senate. His approval among all voters was only 23%.

Leader McConnell must kill the bill. Otherwise, he will betray the Republican Party and the will of the American people who gave the Republicans control of the House.

 

READ MORE FROM TIPP INSIGHTS

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