Leadership Wants Lame-Duck Congress to Pass Omnibus Bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that congressional leadership is in “widespread agreement” that the lame-duck session of Congress should pass an omnibus spending bill.

On Tuesday, McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy met with President Joe Biden and discussed legislative priorities for the remainder of the year.

“We’re going to work together, to fund, I hope, work together to fund the government, COVID, and war in Ukraine,” Biden said. “All controversial and consequential issues.”

Following the meeting, McConnell stated that there was “widespread agreement that we’d be better off with an omnibus than a” continuing resolution, as Politico noted.

An omnibus package would allow for new spending, and McConnell aims to secure more defense funding that is not attainable through a continuing resolution. He cited several major spending bills Democrats have passed over the past few years, enabling them to meet “a number of their domestic priorities,” and suggested a potential  “sticking point” could be the left’s desire for even more domestic spending, as Roll Call’s Adam Quigly reported:

“Our feeling is that the Democrats have met a number of their domestic priorities previously” through 2021’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package and this year’s budget reconciliation law, which contained roughly $450 billion in clean energy and health care-related spending, McConnell said.

“And they’re insistent on continuing to request astronomical increases on the nondefense, domestic side, is a sticking point,” McConnell said. “So that’s where we are and we’re going to keep talking to each other and hopefully work this out.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (R) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony honoring former National Football League (NFL) player and advocate for patients with Lou Gehrig's disease, Steve Gleason, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on January 15, 2020. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (R) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony on January 15, 2020. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

While establishment Republicans like Sens. Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AS), and Roger Wicker (MS) have expressed support for an omnibus, as The Hill reported, Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) wish to wait until the new Congress with a Republican-controlled House before any spending packages are passed.

“If we can’t get common sense in appropriation bills then yes, we’ll support a CR and fix this come January,” said McCarthy, who hopes to become Speaker of the House in the next Congress.

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