Conservative group urges Republicans to oppose spending package

The U.S. Capitol is seen from the Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 8, 2022.
Greg Nash

A major conservative group is urging Republican lawmakers to vote against a massive government spending bill, arguing it will increase spending on progressive priorities and railing against the limited time members will have had to read the legislation.

Heritage Action, a conservative advocacy group and the sister organization of the Heritage Foundation, said it will use lawmakers’ votes on the $1.5 trillion spending package on its scorecard that tracks how often lawmakers vote in line with conservative policies.

“Members and staff will have had less than 12 hours to read 2,741 pages and account for $1.5 trillion in spending,” the organization said in a release obtained first by The Hill. “To make matters worse, the divided question before the House would require that both portions of the question pass, thereby ensuring a vote of support for security related funding is a vote in support of the omnibus. Members should reject this false choice and this blatant political maneuvering that will usher in historic levels of discretionary spending and Leftist policies.”

Congressional negotiators have reached a bipartisan deal on a $1.5 trillion sprawling omnibus package to fund the government as pressure mounts on lawmakers to wrap up spending talks under the wire amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Under a short-term continuing resolution passed last month, lawmakers have until March 11 to pass a government funding bill or risk a shutdown.

The legislation includes what Democrats have lauded as the biggest increase to nondefense discretionary spending in four years. The GOP has also touted a $42 billion increase for defense spending in the package, saying the deal achieves dollar-for-dollar parity for defense and nondefense increases.

The bill also will include about $14 billion in emergency funding to boost humanitarian, security and economic assistance for Ukraine and central European allies amid the Russian invasion — which congressional leaders hoped would help speed the bill’s passage — in addition to more than $15 billion in COVID-19 supplemental funding offset by rescission of previously appropriated funds.

Heritage Action cautioned conservatives against focusing on “small victories” such as investments in the military and measures to pushback against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying that spending “should not be held hostage by controversial non-defense policy and spending.”

The House is expected to take action on the legislation on Wednesday before House Democrats are scheduled to depart for a three-day retreat in Philadelphia. If the package is passed, the Senate will likely take it up shortly after. 


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