Nothing good ever happens during a lame duck session of Congress, especially when it comes to spending bills.
Longtime readers of CHQ will recall that every two years we have inveighed against the Uniparty congressional leadership strategy of pushing crucial spending bills and major policy decisions on contentious matters, such as border security, until the absolute last minute of the post-election calendar.
This habitual legislating by crisis was one of the factors that led to former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner’s downfall in what amounted to a conservative coup, but we will leave it to our readers to decide whether the speakership of Paul Ryan was an improvement over Boehner.
Now, we conservatives are facing another Uniparty post-election avalanche of terrible bills and huge spending proposals, but with one item of good news – Senate Republicans seem to be warming to the idea of actually fighting the Democrats’ lame duck spending juggernaut.
Senators Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas, Rick Scott of Florida, and Mike Braun of Indiana have sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying in part:
We believe it would be both imprudent, and a reflection of poor leadership, for Republicans to ignore the will of the American people and rubber stamp an omnibus spending bill that funds ten more months of President Biden’s agenda without any check on his reckless policies that have led to a 40-year high in inflation. Since taking office, President Biden has overseen a $4.8 trillion increase in the national deficit, costing the average American household an estimated $753 more a month. It should be up to the new Congress to set spending priorities for the remainder of this fiscal year.
The letter went on to point out that the current Continuing Resolution funds the federal government through December 16, 2022, and:
We must not accept anything other than a short-term Continuing Resolution that funds the federal government until shortly after the 118th Congress is sworn in. No additional spending, no additional policy priorities should be included. Any urgent items that require the Senate’s attention should be considered separately and under their own terms.
One of the things that prompted the Lee, Cruz, Scott, Braun letter was a comment by Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, reported by Alexander Bolton of The Hill. McConnell said there was “widespread agreement” at a White House meeting that “we’d be better off with an omnibus” than a CR but, said McConnell, there are “significant hurdles.”
Well, of course the Biden White House wants a long-term Omnibus spending bill – it would put all of Biden’s Far Left policies and programs beyond the reach of the new House Republican majority.
However, in a surprising about face, Mike Lee yesterday tweeted that McConnell has changed his tune and now apparently agrees with the four conservatives.
In response to another Alexander Bolton tweet quoting McConnell and reporting “McConnell says it’s looking increasingly likely Congress will have to pass a CR lasting until 2023 because of lack of progress in negotiations” Mike Lee tweeted, “@LeaderMcConnell is right. Congress should pass a short-term spending bill and allow the new Congress to address FY2023 spending.”
We are not inclined to accept tweets about his comments to journalists as actual commitments on Mitch McConnell’s part to do or not do anything – particularly on spending. But this at least cracks the door open to McConnell putting his weight behind a short-term Continuing Resolution to prevent Democrats from locking-in the Biden-Pelosi-Schumer budget for most of 2023 and thus allowing the new House Republican majority to work its will on the 2023 spending levels and priorities.
We urge CHQ readers to pick-up the phone to call Mitch McConnell and other Republican Senators (the Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121) and join other conservatives who have committed to melt the phone lines to Capitol Hill with this simple message: No long-term spending bill, do a short-term continuing resolution to let the new House Republican majority have a say and a vote.
Joe Biden agenda
Continuing Budget Resolution
omnibus spending bill
race and gender theory
Funding the FBI
IRS agent funding