McConnell, 22 Republicans Join Democrats To Pass Spending Bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) led 21 other Republicans on Thursday to support a continuing resolution to provide stop-gap funding for the federal government while lawmakers try to finalize a larger spending package.

Only 19 Republicans opposed the resolution, while nine did not vote.

McConnell told the Washington Post that it was the final extension he would support. That means Congress must agree on the larger deal within seven days or present a shorter-term compromise.

The Minority Leader said on the Senate floor Wednesday that if a full-year bill without “poison pills” has bipartisan support, he will back it.

The agreement and push for quick acceptance of a broader package created internal conflict within the Republican Party.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) pushed back at the effort to ram the omnibus spending measure through by Christmas. The California representative told Fox News on Tuesday that the GOP could save nearly $100 billion in taxpayer funds by waiting on Republican control in January.

He further categorized his colleagues currently negotiating the larger bill as “wrong.”

Republicans are set to enjoy a slim majority in the House after the new year.

McCarthy accused Democrats of “trying to jam us right before Christmas.” He declared that there is a change in power coming shortly, and Republicans with “a stronger hand” could get busy decreasing federal spending.

And Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) tweeted a video of the congressman indicating that support for negotiations on the massive bill implied a dereliction of duty.

But McConnell’s Senate colleagues argued that McCarthy’s criticisms of their compliance with Democratic budget demands are “not helpful.” Besides the specter of a government shutdown looming, some senators worried that the dustup is a preview of their relationship in the next Congress.

There are some in the Senate who believe that McCarthy is posturing for his bid to become Speaker of the House. Two anonymous senators told The Hill that he wants the bill to succeed because it would be a tough task to negotiate with both his own party conservatives and House Democrats.

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