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December 14, 2022

McConnell Poised to Ram Home One Last Spend-o-Rama

With a GOP House majority on the horizon, why is Mitch McConnell trying to pass a massive Pelosi-Schumer spending bill?

It’d be snortworthy were it not so serious.

With Republicans ready to retake the House and thereby strengthen the GOP’s hand in Congress come January 3, Mitch McConnell and a few trusted Senate accomplices are trying to ram through one last piece of runaway spending before the 117th Congress skedaddles: a massive “omnibus” bill ostensibly meant to “avoid a government shutdown.”

Just in time for a pre-Christmas vote, and instead of passing a short-term resolution until the new Congress can take up the matter of this much larger spending bill, congressional negotiators say they’ve agreed on a framework for a 2023 government funding package.

Not surprisingly, The Wall Street Journal reports: “Lawmakers didn’t announce any details about the overall spending levels, a topic that has eluded negotiators for weeks. Republicans and Democrats have generally agreed to $858 billion in military spending — up from $782 billion appropriated for fiscal 2022 — but have been at an impasse over nondefense spending. Democrats are seeking about $26 billion more in nondefense spending than Republicans want.”

Interestingly, though — and infuriatingly — neither of the lawmakers most responsible for this plan is going to be around next year to face the consequences or the voters. That’s because both Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, and Appropriations Vice Chairman Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, are retiring as soon as they can drag this flea-bitten dog across the finish line.

So much for accountability.

And so much for savvy, an attribute that seems increasingly to have abandoned Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “We’re very close to getting an omnibus appropriations bill that would be I think broadly appealing,” said the guy who got played this summer by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate gadfly Joe Manchin on another massive spending bill, a $740 billion climate, health, and tax boondoggle.

“We need a bit more time beyond this week to get an omnibus done to avoid a needless shutdown,” said Schumer, obviously licking his chops at the prospect of working McConnell over and sticking the American taxpayers once again.

Has anyone else noticed that the Democrats and their Leftmedia lickspittles have weaponized the prospect of a “government shutdown” to strike fear into Republican lawmakers? Utah Republican Senator and constitutionalist Mike Lee has certainly noticed. “We’re witnessing a conspicuous, reoccurring trend,” he said yesterday, “whereby leaders use the threat of a government shutdown to pressure members into voting for inflated spending provisions without time to read the bill.”

Lee, in fact, along with fellow Republican Senator and former business CEO Rick Scott, have penned an op-ed arguing against what they correctly dub “the Pelosi-Schumer spending bill,” and pushing instead for a continuing resolution that “maintains current federal spending levels — and not a penny more — until a new Congress begins.” They continue:

For nearly two years, we’ve seen the devastating impact of total Democrat control in Washington and heard from countless families in our states about the pain it’s causing them at home and in their businesses. That’s why the American people sent an unmistakable message in the November midterm elections, making clear that they want a Republican-led House to serve as a check on the unfettered spending of the current Democrat-controlled Congress.

You’re telling us. Why forfeit a strong hand in order to play a far weaker one?

Lee and Scott also share this little history lesson: “Since 1954, control of the House has changed five times and there has NEVER been an instance of Congress passing an omnibus spending bill before a new House majority takes power. Doing so now would not only defy precedent, it would unfairly tie the hands of the incoming Republican majority.”

“We’d be happy to pass a short-term CR into early next year,” said Mitch McConnell, referring to the December 22 deadline lawmakers have for ramming something through before the holidays.

Well, Mitch, if you’d be “happy” with a modest continuing resolution, what on earth is holding you up?

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