Republicans Focus Attention on Government Financing, Threatens Short-term Resolution if Agreement is Not Reached

McConnell threatens a short-term continuing resolution if Democrats fail to satisfy his demands for an omnibus bill. This is in light of the fact that November’s federal deficit was a record-setting $249 billion, $57 billion larger than the same month last year, as the Republican takeover of the House they are refocusing attention on the government’s finances. The federal government spent $501 billion last month, an increase of $28 billion (a new high), but tax receipts decreased by $29 billion, with the government earning $251 billion in taxes.

The threat was by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) if Senate Democrats did not comply with his requests. The short-term resolution would be a bipartisan financing agreement that would support the government through early next year and prevent a shutdown, but it would not include a full-year spending budget for fiscal 2023.

Both sides are aware of the requirements for the Senate to enact a full-year spending measure. This is hardly a mystery, McConnell stated. A financial agreement must adequately finance our national security at the amount specified in the National Defense Authorization Act without lavishing more funds on Democrats’ political domestic agendas above what President Biden ever sought, McConnell added.

Nondefense spending in the omnibus budget agreement has caused the most difficulty for both parties. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) told CNN that Republicans are seeking a $26 billion reduction in the planned budget for domestic measures advocated by Democrats. Democrats recommended slashing a portion of military money to make up for the additional funds allocated to domestic causes.

McConnell stated that his Democratic colleagues had spent two years dramatically raising domestic expenditure via party-line reconciliation measures outside the normal appropriations process. Therefore, it is evident, according to McConnell, that Democrats cannot demand any greater domestic expenditure than President Biden proposed in exchange for supporting the U.S. military.

McConnell asked the Senate to approve the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act, drafted by Senators Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Jack Reed (D-RI) and their House equivalents. The House approved the plan last week, and it is anticipated to receive bipartisan approval in the Senate this week. According to McConnell, Congress has a fundamental responsibility to fund the national military, but irrelevant domestic problems cannot be added.

If Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate can accept these facts in the very near future, we may yet have a chance to assemble a full-year funding measure, McConnell said. If our Democratic colleagues cannot accept these realities, a short-term, bipartisan funding agreement through early next year will be the only alternative.

However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has proposed a vote on a one-week resolution that would prolong the shutdown and provide appropriators with additional time to find an agreement.

Schumer stated the benefits of an omnibus are as many as the number of American citizens. When the government is fully prepared to deliver important services that millions of people require, everyone will benefit.

Federal funding will expire on Friday if the shutdown cannot be avoided.