Senate

McConnell suggests spending claw back is unachievable

Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday threw cold water on the idea of clawing back spending from the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill approved by Congress last month.

McConnell said he was open to a “discussion” about the idea, but noted that the omnibus was a bipartisan deal and appeared skeptical a rescission package would go anywhere.

“I’m willing to discuss with the administration of the possibility of some kind of rescission package. I think it’s worth a discussion. Whether that’s achievable is another matter,” he told reporters.

{mosads}He added while the omnibus “was larger than most Republicans would like … it was a bipartisan agreement.”

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and President Trump have discussed using the Budget Act of 1974 to rescind spending from the omnibus. Using the law would prevent a filibuster against the package.

But a number of Republicans have raised reservations about the proposal, and there are doubts the GOP could win 50 votes in the Senate.

Several GOP senators have signaled they are not on board, in part because it would likely poison any future negotiations with Democrats. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told reporters it would be “ill-advised,” while Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told The Washington Post that “just off the top, my initial response is no.”

Republicans have floated trying to claw back some of the omnibus amid backlash from their conservative base over the mammoth funding bill, which Trump initially threatened to veto.

Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) predicted Republicans would have a hard time getting support on their side of the aisle, adding: “We’ve made an agreement. I hope they won’t go back on it.”

House Republicans are also expected to vote on a balanced budget amendment this week. McConnell left the door open to giving the measure a vote, noting most Republicans support it.

“That’s the kind of vote we’re likely to see at some point,” he told reporters.

But the constitutional amendment has virtually no chance of being enacted.

Schumer knocked Republicans for floating the idea after passing last year’s tax bill, saying they need to “walk the walk and not just talk the talk.”

“That means one of two things: A, they’re not serious,” he said, “or B, they want to cut Medicare and Social Security.”

Tags Budget Charles Schumer Donald Trump Kevin McCarthy Lisa Murkowski Mitch McConnell Rescission Susan Collins
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