Conservative group presses GOP to vote against spending bill

Conservative group presses GOP to vote against spending bill
© Getty Images

An influential conservative group is pressing Senate Republicans to vote down a short-term bill to fund the government.   

Heritage Action for America said Monday it would “key vote” the funding bill on its scorecard, meaning a vote in favor will be held against a lawmaker. The initial vote on the bill will be held in the Senate Tuesday, with just four days left to avoid a government shutdown.


While the bill was crafted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellEverytown plans ad blitz on anniversary of House background check bill Kentucky state official says foreign adversaries 'routinely' scan election systems Don't let 'welfare for all' advocates derail administration's food stamp program reforms MORE (R-Ky.), Heritage said it “falls far short of conservative expectations.”

The bill, known as a continuing resolution, would fund the government through Dec. 9. That timeline that has been fiercely opposed by conservative groups like Heritage and Freedom Partners because they oppose any funding deals during a lame-duck session after the election.

“Throughout the summer and into the fall, conservatives said Congress should ensure the length of any continuing resolution did not require a post-election session of Congress,” Heritage wrote in a statement Monday.

The opposition by Heritage Action is the latest hurdle for GOP leaders seeking to clear a spending bill before the Sept. 30 deadline.

Last week, seven Senate Republicans voted to oppose moving forward with the spending bill process: Dean Heller (Nev.), James Lankford (Okla.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Defense: Senate votes to rein in Trump war powers on Iran | Pentagon shifting .8B to border wall | US, Taliban negotiate seven-day 'reduction in violence' The 8 Republicans who voted to curb Trump's Iran war powers MORE (Utah), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Pelosi names first-ever House whistleblower ombudsman director The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE (Ky.), David Perdue (Ga.), Ben Sasse (Neb.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPompeo to speak to influential Iowa GOP group Top National Security Council aide moved to Energy Department role Ted Cruz takes aim at Alabama vasectomy bill: 'Yikes' MORE (Texas.). 

While some of the Senate Republicans could decide to support the bill now that the text has been released, other Republicans, such as Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: Trump has 'all the legal authority in the world' to pardon Stone Overnight Defense: Pentagon policy chief resigns at Trump's request | Trump wishes official 'well in his future endeavors' | Armed Services chair warns against Africa drawdown after trip GOP chairman after Africa trip: US military drawdown would have 'real and lasting negative consequences' MORE (S.C.), say they'll remain firmly in opposition to the bill. Graham wants the bill to include a provision helping the Export-Import Bank.   

Most Senate Democrats have also threatened to oppose the bill because it doesn’t include emergency funding for the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich.   

Heritage Action also criticized GOP leaders for not including several conservative riders, such as tighter rules for Syrian refugee, blocking the White House’s new overtime pay rules or protecting U.S. control over internet domain names.

The group also condemned the bill’s price tag, echoing a year-old argument against raising the current spending levels to $1.070 trillion — up from $1.040 trillion.