More than a dozen House Republicans are demanding their Senate colleagues oppose a wasteful omnibus spending package that would fund the federal government for next year — or risk facing legislative gridlock once the party takes control of the House in January.
In a letter sent to Senate Republicans on Monday, 13 GOP representatives called on the upper chamber to reject the proposed omnibus spending bill, noting that the American people didn’t elect Republicans “to continue the status quo in Washington,” but to “put aside the absurd spending and empowerment of Biden bureaucrats.”
“This slated ‘omnibus spending bill’ is an indefensible assault on the American people,” the letter reads. “It is an assault on separation of powers. It is an assault on fiscal responsibility. It is an assault on basic civic decency. And a vote for any omnibus in the remaining days of a Democrat led government is a vote in favor of that assault.”
If Congress passes the spending package, it would fund the federal government through 2023, undercutting any leverage a new Republican House majority would have over spending priorities until the end of next year. As a means of encouraging Senate Republicans to vote against the measure, the 13 GOP representatives further warned that once in power, they will not hesitate to “oppose and whip opposition to any legislative priority of those senators who vote for this bill — including the Republican leader [Mitch McConnell].”
“We will oppose any rule, any consent request, suspension voice vote, or roll call vote of any such Senate bill, and will otherwise do everything in our power to thwart even the smallest legislative and policy efforts of those senators,” the document reads.
Among the letter’s signatories are Reps. Chip Roy of Texas, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Matt Rosendale of Montana, Matt Gaetz and Byron Donalds of Florida, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Bob Good of Virginia, and Andrew Clyde of Georgia, as well as Rep.-elects Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, Andy Ogles of Tennessee, and Eli Crane of Arizona.
Totaling $1.7 trillion, the just-released 4,155-page bill includes numerous wasteful spending items, including nearly $45 billion in aid to Ukraine and NATO and more than $40 billion for drought and wildfire recovery. Also included is major funding for corrupt federal health departments, such as the National Institutes of Health ($47.5 billion) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ($9.2 billion).
But the nearly 1,500-page bill doesn’t just include pork barrel spending items. Buried within the measure is a provision that would rewrite the 19th-century Electoral Count Act to “clarify that the vice president only has a ceremonial role in counting Electoral College votes.”
Authored by Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the legislation would additionally “require that at least one-fifth of lawmakers from both the House and Senate are needed to force a vote on certifying a state’s electoral votes.” As the law currently stands, it takes only one congressional member from each chamber to object to a state’s certification in order for a vote to be held.
Having zero to do with budgetary issues, that inclusion in the legislation represents a dig at former President Donald Trump, who has criticized his Vice President Mike Pence for not doing more to object to the certification of the 2020 presidential election. Corporate media have since pointed to the Electoral Count Act in blaming Trump for the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, with CNN publishing an article in January saying that tweaking the act, as the Senate is trying to cram into the omnibus, is how Congress stops “insurrection 2.0.”