Senate Dems block crackdown on sanctuary cities
Schumer: House funding bill a 'waste of time'
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday blasted House Republicans, saying they are wasting time by moving forward with a funding bill that would pair a full year of defense funding with a short-term fix for other programs.
"At this late hour it's ... an unfortunate waste of precious time. ... House Republicans should have known not to waste everyone's time with a partisan spending bill that could never pass the Senate," Schumer said.
He added that Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) "is pursuing a dead-end strategy."
House Republicans introduced legislation on Wednesday that would fund most of the government through mid-January and fund the Defense Department through the end of the 2018 fiscal year.
But Schumer warned that proposal is dead on arrival in the Senate, where 44 of the Democratic caucus's 48 members have indicated they won't support the proposal.
Congress faces a Dec. 22 deadline to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. Lawmakers also need to get a deal to lift the budget caps before mid-January if they want to avoid automatic spending cuts under sequestration.
Democrats are demanding any increase in defense funding be matched by an equal increase in nondefense funding.
Schumer said on Thursday that House conservatives are trying to "derail another successful parity agreement."
"The cromnibus is nothing but a spectacle by the hard right who don't want government to spend money on anything, and it's a perilous waste of time as the clock ticks closer to the end of the year," he said.
Republicans will need the support of at least eight Democratic senators to get a funding bill through the Senate, if they can get every GOP senator to support it.
If the House "cromnibus" - a combination of a continuing resolution and a long-term omnibus bill - fails to get 60 votes in the Senate, lawmakers are expected to turn to a short-term bill to fund the government into January.