House Republicans cut out of spending bill talks despite winning majority, GOP conference chair says

Congressional negotiators are considering a year-long omnibus bill raising domestic spending on top of a 10% defense budget increase

Published: December 14, 2022 1:11pm

Updated: December 14, 2022 9:35pm

House Republicans have been cut out of negotiations related to the next spending bill, despite having won the chamber majority last month and taking over the chamber in just weeks, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik said Wednesday. 

Stefanik spoke as congressional negotiators are considering a year-long omnibus bill that would raise domestic spending over fiscal 2022 levels. 

"The skyrocketing price of goods, travel and services will make this the most expensive Christmas in history," the New York Republican said at a Capitol Hill press conference. "Yet here we are with Democrats controlling government in the final hours trying to keep the lights on in one-party rule."

McCarthy is advocating for the current Congress to pass a short-term spending bill that would expire early next year to give the new Congress a chance to negotiate a spending package.

The California Republican, who hopes to be elected House speaker, argued that interest rates have increased as a result of the Democrat-controlled Congress' spending driving up inflation.

"Have they not learned anything in the last election?" he asked on Wednesday.

McCarthy noted that the two key Senate negotiators on the spending bill, Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, and Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, are retiring from Congress. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell are also part of the discussions. 

"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."

Stefanik also said: "Make no mistake about this process, Democrats cut House Republicans out of these negotiations since day one. The lame duck Democrats spent the last two years running up the tab on the backs of hardworking American families and the American people have just spoken and rejected this radical agenda by electing a new House Republican majority."

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