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McConnell Working to Cut Massive Spending Deal with Dem Congress, Bypassing Incoming GOP Majority

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is working with Democrats to pass an approximately $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill by the end of the year.

The bill would fund the federal government through the end of fiscal year 2023, Roll Call reported.

House Speaker-designate Kevin McCarthy opposes the move, saying that Republicans should support a short-term spending extension into the new year when the GOP majority takes over.

McConnell told reporters Tuesday, “I think we’re very close to getting an omnibus appropriations bill,” according to The Hill.

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He elaborated from the senate floor Wednesday, “If a truly bipartisan full-year bill without poison pills is ready for final senate passage by late next week, then I’ll support it for our armed forces, particularly.”

“Otherwise, we’ll be passing a short-term continuing resolution into the new year,” McConnell said.

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Democrats need 10 Republicans to side with them in order to move the omnibus bill through the senate. It takes 60 votes to overcome a likely GOP filibuster.

Politico’s Burgess Everett and Sarah Ferris wrote in a Wednesday piece that McConnell can probably find those votes between GOP moderates, loyalists on his leadership team, and retiring senators.

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Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, who is retiring, is already on board.

“I am pleased to confirm that Chairman [Patrick] Leahy, [House Appropriations Committee] Chair [Rosa] DeLauro, and I have reached a bipartisan, bicameral framework that allows us to begin the difficult work of reaching an agreement across twelve separate bills. If all goes well, we should be able to finish an omnibus appropriations package by December 23rd,” he said in a Tuesday statement.

McCarthy reportedly told House members at a closed-door Republican conference meeting Tuesday that he is a “hell no” on supporting the omnibus bill, and urged them to vote against it.

On Tuesday, he also posted a clip from a Fox News “Ingraham Angle” interview he did last week when he said, “We’re 28 days away from Republicans having the gavel. We would be stronger in every negotiation. So any Republican that’s out there trying to work with [Democrats] is wrong.”

McCarthy noted at a Wednesday news conference that the federal deficit for the month of November was a record-setting $248 billion.

“We can’t afford to continue to spend the way the Democrats have,” McCarthy said.

The federal deficit for fiscal year 2021, during which Democrats took control of the House was $2.77 trillion, and for FY 2022, it was $1.38 trillion.

The largest federal deficit was $3.13 trillion in FY 2020 when Congress, on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis, passed a series of COVID relief measures.

No Republicans supported the Democrat $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan in the spring of 2021, citing concerns over deficit spending, the bill including a lot of non-COVID related provisions, and the inflationary pressures created by overstimulating an already quickly recovering economy.

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