Congress poised to raise overall federal spending by 9% as national debt climbs to $32 trillion

In the massive, $1.7 trillion spending bill, defense spending is up about 10%, and nondefense spending is up roughly 8% over fiscal year 2022 levels, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Congress is poised to raise overall federal spending about 9% with a 4,155-page $1.7 trillion omnibus bill expected to pass before the Christmas holiday.

The amount of spending in the legislation amounts to $409 million per page.

The legislation, which was unveiled by congressional negotiators on Tuesday, has been widely panned by budget hawks who argue it will worsen inflation.

Wisconsin GOP Rep. Tom Tiffany referred to the bill on social media as the "Nightmare Before Christmas."

Kentucky Republican Rep. Rand Paul questioned how lawmakers would be able to read the full text before voting.

Inflation is at 7.1%, according to the Consumer Price Index.

According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget's analysis of the year-long omnibus, there is $1.646 trillion in nonemergency appropriations, which amounts to roughly a 9% increase over last year.

The $858 billion in defense spending represents a 10% increase, and the domestic spending increase is 8%, according to the analysis.

The fiscal year 2023 defense bill Congress passed raises defense spending far over fiscal year 2022 levels. The bill is also more than $45 billion over President Biden's defense budget request.

House Republican leaders said they have been cut out of the spending bill negotiations despite having won the chamber majority in the November election.

GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy advocated that the current Congress instead pass a short-term spending bill that would expire in January to give the new Congress a chance to negotiate a spending package.

"They want to raise the spending, bring more inflation, create more wokeism in the legislation they want to pass through and not even give members an opportunity to read it or see it," he said. "Let's do our spending bill in the next quarter."

The California Republican, who hopes to be elected House speaker, has vowed that bills in the next Congress sponsored by GOP senators who vote for the omnibus bill in the lame duck session of Congress would be dead on arrival next year.

The U.S. government ran a deficit that piled $1.4 trillion onto the national debt in the fiscal year 2022. The total national debt is currently approaching $32 trillion.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and ranking member Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) negotiated the legislation along with House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut. Both Leahy and Shelby are retiring.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell were also involved in the spending bill talks.