GOP senators introduce Trump's plan to claw back $15 billion in spending

GOP senators introduce Trump's plan to claw back $15 billion in spending
© Greg Nash

A group of Senate conservatives is pushing forward with President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE's plan to claw back more than $15 billion in spending despite concerns from several of their Republican colleagues.

Ten GOP senators announced Friday that they had introduced the rescissions package, saying they were rolling out the legislation to help ensure it reaches the Senate floor within the 45-day window to avoid a Democratic filibuster.

GOP Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeMcConnell, allies lean into Twitter, media 'war' Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing Criminal justice reform should extend to student financial aid MORE (Utah), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senator: Gun control debate 'hasn't changed much at all' back home GOP senators call for Barr to release full results of Epstein investigation FBI Agents Association calls on Congress to make 'domestic terrorism' a federal crime MORE (Wis.), Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns MORE (Pa.), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstErnst town hall in Iowa gets contentious over guns Air Force probe finds no corroboration of sexual assault allegations against Trump pick Gun control activists set to flex muscle in battle for Senate MORE (Iowa), David Perdue (Ga.), John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (La.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGraham promises ObamaCare repeal if Trump, Republicans win in 2020 Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing Rand Paul to 'limit' August activities due to health MORE (Ky.), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeAnti-gun violence organization endorses Kelly's Senate bid Arpaio considering running for former sheriff job after Trump pardon Overnight Energy: Warren edges past Sanders in poll of climate-focused voters | Carbon tax shows new signs of life | Greens fuming at Trump plans for development at Bears Ears monument MORE (Ariz.) and Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseBipartisan panel to issue recommendations for defending US against cyberattacks early next year The Hill's Morning Report - Trump lauds tariffs on China while backtracking from more To cash in on innovation, remove market barriers for advanced energy technologies MORE (Neb.) all introduced the legislation.

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP strategist predicts Biden will win nomination, cites fundraising strength 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters MORE (R-Texas) is also supporting the bill, according to his office.

“Yes, a $15 billion spending reduction is a drop in the bucket compared to a $15 trillion debt,” Lee said in a statement. “But we have to start cutting spending somewhere.

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Kennedy added that "Washington has long been spending tax dollars like a bunch of drunken sailors."

Notably absent from the bill's list of co-sponsors are members of Senate leadership or Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyIn-space refueling vs heavy lift? NASA and SpaceX choose both Budget deal sparks scramble to prevent shutdown Trump border fight throws curveball into shutdown prospects MORE (R-Ala.), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Conservatives seized on the dynamic Friday afternoon, with FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon saying the absence of GOP leaders "speaks volumes."

"Clearly, Senate rank and file are the ones concerned with reckless spending. If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes Hobbled NRA shows strength with Trump MORE [R-Ky.] is not going to take up the White House’s proposal to impound unobligated funds, it is good to that know we have Sens. Lee, Paul, and others to stick up for American taxpayers," he added in a statement.

The Trump administration submitted a request to Congress on May 8 to claw back $15.4 billion in spending from previously approved funds. Lawmakers have 45 days to approve the measure if they want to avoid the 60-vote Senate filibuster.

Senate GOP leadership has kept the door open to considering the legislation if it can pass the House.

“My understanding of the rescission package is that it does not breach the bipartisan agreement we reached in the caps deal. If the House is able to pass the rescissions package, we'll take a look at it,” McConnell told reporters recently.

But Republicans could struggle to get 50 votes for the legislation without help from Democrats, who have balked because the package targets funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program as well as funds designated for the 2015 Ebola outbreak.

Several GOP senators, including Shelby, Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCollins downplays 2020 threat: 'Confident' re-election would go well if she runs Cook Political Report moves Susan Collins Senate race to 'toss up' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate Senate braces for brawl over Trump's spy chief Congress kicks bipartisan energy innovation into higher gear MORE (Alaska) and Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoAmerica is in desperate need of infrastructure investment: Senate highway bill a step in the right direction On The Money: Economy adds 164K jobs in July | Trump signs two-year budget deal, but border showdown looms | US, EU strike deal on beef exports Trump border fight throws curveball into shutdown prospects MORE (W.Va.), have voiced concerns about parts of the bill. 

Shelby suggested earlier this month that the package “could take funds away from a lot of us in the South, on transportation. And that’s not going to be a very popular thing.”

Murkowski said late last week that she had talked with White House budget chief Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week Dick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report Chris Wallace becomes Trump era's 'equal opportunity inquisitor' MORE. Trump's budget director was open to making changes to address some of her concerns, she said.

"[But] a lot of it has to do just with the fact that we have directed that spending and rescissions effectively take that away from us as the Congress,” Murkowski said.