House GOP urges members to vote against government funding bill
House GOP leadership is urging its members to vote down a sweeping government funding package expected to come to a vote this week, clashing with their Republican counterparts in the upper chamber who are pushing for its passage.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) office sent out a notice to members on Tuesday afternoon recommending a “no” vote on a $1.7 trillion funding bill unveiled hours before.
The notice panned the 4,000-plus-page package, saying it “continues the out of control spending binge in Washington that has gone unchecked over the past two years.”
Republicans opposing the omnibus have been pressing for Congress to put off government spending through early next year, saying the move is necessary to give the party more sway in funding talks as Washington prepares to usher in a newly GOP-led House.
“This deal is designed to sideline the incoming Republican House Majority by extending many programs for multiple years and providing large funding increases for Democrat priorities on top of the exorbitant spending that has already been appropriated this year,” the message continued.
The notice is the latest display of opposition by House Republicans to efforts to pass a government funding omnibus by year’s end.
Earlier this week, a band of 13 Republicans urged GOP senators to reject the omnibus package while also threatening to “thwart” the policy priorities of those who back the bill when it comes up for a vote later this week.
The effort has also drawn support from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), whose bid to become Speaker in the next Congress is still on a rocky road.
Many of the negotiations, top appropriators say, have been carried out largely between Republicans in the Senate and Democrats in both chambers.
Republicans pushing for an omnibus to be enacted sooner than next year have cited concerns for funding in areas such as defense.
In the mammoth bill, negotiators say the defense funding baseline saw about a 10 percent increase, compared to almost half that increase for the nondefense baseline, when not factoring in the veterans funding — which Democrats had previously pressed to be categorized in its own section in spending talks.
By contrast, the annual inflation rate hit 7.1 percent last month.
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