GOP senators who backed $1.7 trillion omnibus may face retribution from House GOP in next Congress

It remains to be seen whether the lower chamber lawmakers will follow through on their threats.

Published: December 22, 2022 5:21pm

Updated: December 22, 2022 5:55pm

The Senate on Thursday passed a $1.7 billion omnibus spending package with the support of 18 Republican senators, who backed the measure over loud objections from House Republicans who had called on the upper chamber lawmakers to refrain from setting next year's budget until they took control of the House in January.

Those pleas fell on deaf ears for many Senate Republicans, though they may soon come to regret their decision should House lawmakers follow through on threats they made prior to the vote to obstruct legislation from any Republican who broke ranks on the issue.

Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy led 30 other incoming and current House Republicans on Wednesday in writing an open letter to the Senate GOP in which the group vowed to thwart the legislative priorities of those Senate lawmakers. Roy's group more than doubled in size since sending a similar letter on Monday with 13 signatures, according to The Hill.

"Once again, we urge Senate Republicans to use every tool possible to kill this bill. Failure to do so will result in not only legislative and political consequences, but irrevocable consequences for our nation," the letter read, adding that "because almost every Senate Republican has bloviated about inflation and the national debt at some point in the past two years, a vote for this bill should be viewed as a blatant display of hypocrisy."

The letter then proceeded to denigrate various provisions in the bill as undermining the GOP's legislative agenda for asserting that "this omnibus will deny the incoming House GOP majority any leverage to enact crucial policy changes needed to secure our border through the power of the purse."

"Voting in favor of this bill is a dereliction of our duty on all counts," the lawmakers contended.

"As such, we reiterate that if any omnibus passes in the remaining days of this Congress, we will oppose and whip opposition to any legislative priority of those senators who vote for its passage – including the Republican leader," they vowed. "We will oppose any rule, any consent request, suspension voice vote, or roll call vote of any such Senate bill, and will otherwise do everything in our power to thwart even the smallest legislative and policy efforts of those senators."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is still struggling to amass the support to become the next House speaker, has echoed such threats, assuring Senate GOP leaders that their legislative items would reach the chamber dead on arrival.

It remains to be seen whether the lower chamber lawmakers will follow through on their threats.

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