A renewed Senate push to add billions of dollars in new spending next year is setting up a battle in Congress later this year that could result in a partial government shutdown if not resolved by Sept. 30.
The top Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee reached an agreement Thursday to add $13.7 billion in additional “emergency” funding for defense and non-defense discretionary spending. “It’s a very routine thing. They do it almost every year, if not every year,” a Senate aide told Fox News Digital.
But the increase would put the Senate on a collision course with House Republicans, whose conservative faction is pushing for spending cuts below the debt limit set in the debt ceiling deal between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and President Biden. The Senate majority was already angering House Republicans who worked for months to get the deal done, and they don’t want to see their promised cuts evaporate.
“It’s a concern for those of us in the House who see the final debt ceiling deal as too much spending, and for appropriations, which needs to get 218 votes, we’re recognizing that we’re going to have to make additional cuts to get things passed on the floor,” said Rep. Ben Kline, R-Va. , a member of Frydom News’ Friday House, told a member of Carodom News’ Friday Digital Committee. . “It looks like we’re going even further.”
Key House Freedom Caucus member predicts McCarthy to break promise on omnibus bill
Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray, D-Wash., stressed Thursday that additional emergency dollars have been sought on both sides of the aisle and would not violate the McCarthy-Biden deal.
“Members on both sides of the aisle — on and off the committee — have expressed serious, bipartisan concerns about debt ceiling cuts to key non-defense programs,” Murray said at a committee hearing. “Vice Chair Collins and I have discussed the best way to address these concerns, and we have agreed to use additional emergency appropriations — as we do every year, and as fully authorized under the debt ceiling agreement — to address in a bipartisan manner some of the challenges facing our nation.”
Conservatives have warned McCarthy that they will vote against spending bills that do not cut ‘stretch’ government.
Listen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, also said later in the hearing, “I want to point out that this bill, as well as many others that we have passed, are actually below last year’s funding levels, as enacted in the omnibus bill.
But House Republicans, including those who supported the final deal, made it clear they would not entertain a compromise that could be seen as a consensus increase in spending levels.
“House Republicans will not go along with this additional spending,” Rep. Kevin Hearn, R-Okla., chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told Fox News Digital. “Our majority is committed to reducing our debt and spending taxpayer dollars responsibly. Meanwhile, many in the Senate are happy to turn a blind eye to our growing federal debt and have clearly learned nothing from the inflationary crisis created by Democrats’ spending.
Freedom Caucus Member Says GOP Rebels Want to Withhold ‘Written Positions’ From McCarthy
Rep. Dusty Johnson, RS.D., leader of the moderate Main Street Caucus, called the $13.7 billion increase “a non-starter in the House.”
“The GOP won the battle on unprecedented savings during debt ceiling negotiations, the Senate is working to bring those savings back,” he wrote on Twitter.
Several top conservatives met with House GOP leaders at a meeting Wednesday night, including McCarthy, where they laid out a plan for how to cut spending below its current mark, according to Roll Call. It follows House Appropriations Committee Chair KK Granger, R-Texas, who is committed to bringing in spending bills that are in line with fiscal 2022 levels — below the McCarthy-Biden deal.
Click here to get the Fox News app.
Cline told Fox News Digital he was at the meeting but declined to discuss specifics. “I would say it was an effort to reach a consensus on how to move forward … and there are many people on the more conservative side of our conference who recognize that the first Bills are spending rather than making necessary savings.”
If no agreement on a way forward can be reached by September 30, Congress risks leaving the government in a partial shutdown. Kline didn’t directly say whether he was concerned that would happen, but said, “No one wants to close.”