Congressional leaders have released details of a $1.7 trillion spending bill they expect to pass by Friday, just days before Republicans are set to take control of the House.
The bill includes an overhaul of the Electoral Count Act and nearly $45 billion in aid to Ukraine.
The bill reportedly has the support of 10 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), a key negotiator who is retiring at the end of the year.
NEW: Congress releases major spending bill with election reforms to prevent another Jan. 6
• $1.7 trillion government funding
• $44.9 billion Ukraine aid
• Electoral Count Act overhaul
They hope to pass it by Friday. https://t.co/VOKiyQD8ux
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) December 20, 2022
President Biden also supports the massive spending bill, as the Washington Post points out, it includes “funding for key elements” of his “economic agenda.”
The bill runs 4,155 pages long, with lawmakers stuffing in “as many priorities as they could into the sprawling package,” and will need to be passed before midnight on Friday.
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Republican leadership in the Senate supporting this bill means they will have abdicated the power of the purse until September of 2023, despite the GOP taking control of the House less than two weeks after its presumed passage.
During that time, writes the Daily Signal’s Rob Bluey, incoming House “Republicans would be powerless to carry out their oversight agenda.”
Republicans Set to Surrender on $1.7 Trillion Spending Bill
The Political Insider reported in October that lawmakers from both parties were seeking to lock in a staggering $50 billion in additional military aid for Ukraine before the new Congress is sworn in.
And they got pretty damn close to that goal.
It also comes pretty close to the amount Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded.
Zelensky insisted Ukraine would need an additional $55 billion in aid.
🚨🧵: Republicans are about to surrender the leverage to hold Biden accountable without even putting up a fight.
This week, at least 10 Senate Republicans are expected to join democrats to pass a massive $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill in Congress.
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) December 20, 2022
Fox News host Tucker Carlson slammed Zelensky for trying to ‘shake down’ Congress for more money.
“Some uppity foreigner in a T-shirt demanding money for his critical economic needs. We have critical economic needs too, buddy,” Carlson railed. “Who are you, troll? Go away.”
He added: “Since when does that guy have a claim on our Treasury?”
The answer – As long as Democrats have power and weak Republicans grant them their every wish, the only people without a claim to taxpayer money are the American taxpayers.
Tucker Carlson Responding To Zelensky Demanding More Money
“Some uppity foreigner in a t-shirt demanding money for his ‘critical economic needs.’ We have critical economic needs too, buddy. Who are you troll? Go away.” pic.twitter.com/nqHDmiJBKF
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) October 14, 2022
One Republican who likely won’t be voting in favor of the $1.7 trillion spending bill is Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Paul has been a rare voice of opposition to providing a blank check to Ukraine with no accountability, especially during perilous economic times for the American people.
“It’s threatening our own national security, and it’s frankly a slap in the face to millions of taxpayers who are struggling to buy gas, groceries, and find baby formula,” Paul said while temporarily blocking a $40 billion aid package last Spring.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) calls $40 billion military aid package to Ukraine “a gift” and blocks it from passing. pic.twitter.com/Lxfez8LApb
— The Recount (@therecount) May 12, 2022
Congress announced an additional $12 billion in aid to Ukraine in September, along with the $40 billion aid package in May, on top of a $14 billion package in March, and now a potential $44.9 billion budget for the coming year.
And it almost assuredly won’t end with that amount.
When initial reports indicated Republican leadership would cave on the massive spending bill, Paul blasted his colleagues for being “emasculated” and surrendering power to the Democrats.
“We have completely and totally abdicated the power of the purse. Republicans are emasculated,” he seethed. “They have no power and they are unwilling to gain that power back.”
— American Firebrand (@AmFirebrand) December 19, 2022
House Republicans sent a letter to their Senate counterparts urging them to vote against the massive spending bill.
“The American people did not elect us – any of us – to continue the status quo in Washington, as this bill will undoubtedly do,” the letter reads.
And they threatened a small modicum of retribution should the Senate GOP cave.
“We are obliged to inform you 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 this bill – including the… leader,” they warn.
The warning shot, delivered tonight via a letter from @chiproytx and 12 other conservatives, comes amid rising tensions between Republicans in the House and Senate over the Pelosi-Schumer spending bill. https://t.co/gRfoXLKTxt
— Rob Bluey (@RobertBluey) December 20, 2022
Even so, the legislation is “expected to pass with more bipartisan support in the Senate” according to CNBC.
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