On Wednesday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R.I.) hosted a conference to try to convince fellow Republicans to focus on fiscal conservatism. He also urged them to delay major spending bills until the next Congress is sworn into — when Republicans will control the House of Representatives.
As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-KY), said Wednesday that he supports the framework for the Omnibus Appropriations Deal to Fund the Government through Most of 2023. This is the first step in an effort to avoid a government shutdown. The terms of the agreement have not been disclosed by the Appropriators, but they are expected to establish defense spending at $858 million.
The current government funding ends on Friday. However, both chambers attempt to pass a one week continuing resolution to allow appropriators more time for finalizing the details and passing the Omnibus. McConnell stated that any agreement on a long-term spending bill needs to be voted on by Dec. 22 or it will have to wait until next fiscal year.
A half-dozen Republican senators are asking Republican leaders to consider a continuing solution funded through February 4, 2023 to defer the debate to next year. This will allow Republicans more control over the budget and force spending cuts from Washington.
“I doubt whether this is an appropriate activity to engage in at a time when control of Congress has just flipped to Republicans,” stated Sen. Mike Lee (R.UT) during a Tuesday afternoon press conference. “I find it difficult to believe that this would make sense.
Self-described “Breakfast Club” has been meeting every morning to voice their grievances for some while now. They called for the Republican conference to meet Wednesday to discuss the goals and agenda for the new Senate. This meeting was less exciting than previous gatherings, and focuses on how the party can use its influence against Democratic majority in the upper house. Johnson stated that the conference had agreed to hold more meetings in future.
“We are not trying to pit one group or another. Johnson gave charts showing the federal spending levels to reporters who were outside the Senate chamber. “We’re trying this as collaboratively and possible.” Johnson said. “I believe everyone respects one another, there are a lot good ideas from the wide spectrum of our conference, so we’ll continue to move forward. He said that there is no animosity there.
House lawmakers will vote on Wednesday on a temporary funding bill that would fund the government until Dec. 23. The cooperation of Senate Democrats as well as Republicans is crucial, since a few could slow down the legislative process.
Both sides insist that a shutdown is unlikely. A group of Republicans insists that they don’t want to increase domestic spending, even though Biden and his allies have secured funding in the past year. This group has shown that it will be a problem for McConnell for at least a while longer and object to any compromises with Democrats.
“I believe the ability to hold 41 against something until certain conditions have been met is significant. Lee stated that we need to be strategic because we are missing an opportunity to coordinate with our House counterparts.
Recent days have seen some Republicans in Congress raise the possibility of a shutdown. They cited the one-week continuing solution and the larger Omnibus as reasons for the shutdown. Lee refused to comment on his plans to respond to the looming vote on CR, but said that a temporary one week fix “substantially increases” the possibility of a shutdown.
“I never indicate in advance what procedure I will take to respond to such a situation. This will need to be a quick decision. It has raised concerns. He said that he believes it was a mistake.