Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told the media on Tuesday that he is âpullingâ for Rep. Kevin McCarthy to be elected speaker of the House in the next Congress, despite disagreeing on whether to pass the omnibus spending bill before the end of the year.
âAbsolutely, Iâm pulling for Kevin. I hope he makes it,â McConnell told reporters when asked if he supported the House minority leaderâs speakership bid.Â
McCarthy on Tuesday harshly criticized Senate Republicans, including McConnell, who support passing the $1.7 trillion spending package.
âWhen Iâm Speaker, their bills will be dead on arrival in the House if this nearly $2T monstrosity is allowed to move forward over our objections and the will of the American people,â McCarthy wrote in a Twitter post, referencing Senate Republicans who pushed for passage of the spending legislation.Â
McCarthy, who needs the support of 218 House lawmakers to be elected speaker next month when the new House GOP majority convenes, has said he preferred Senate Republicans to push for a stopgap spending measure.
âTheyâre trying to jam us right before Christmas. Why would you ever move forward when thereâs a change in power in 21 days where Republicans would have a stronger hand? We wouldnât be talking about adding more money, weâd be talking about decreasing,â McCarthy told Fox Newsâs Sean Hannity last week.Â
McConnell has countered that the negotiated omnibus bill contains âcriticalâ spending increases for defense programs while cuts for nondefense spending.
âThis omnibus bill that will be on the floor provides a real-dollar increase for the defense baseline and a real-dollar cut for the nondefense baseline, if you exclude veterans,â he said Tuesday.
âThat is absolutely critical in breaking the pattern weâve had in the past when weâve ended up in one of these situations where every time Republicans tried to get an increase in defense, we would in effect have to pay a ransom to the Democrats on the domestic side,â McConnell added.
The omnibus bill passed a procedural vote in the Senate on Tuesday and may be approved on Wednesday.
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