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Republicans denounce ‘swamp’ spending after Congress unveils 6 funding bills

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Shortly after congressional leaders unveiled a bipartisan package of six government spending bills, Republican lawmakers expressed outrage online.

The text of the six bills was released Sunday in accordance with the House of Representatives rule that gives lawmakers at least 72 hours to review legislation before voting. The six bills, if approved by the House and Senate, would fund certain federal agencies for a full year, totaling about $460 billion.

The package, which comes after months of contentious negotiations, political infighting and stopgap measures to narrowly avert looming shutdowns, is the product of a deal reached by House Speaker Mike Johnson, the House leader. House Minority Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader. Mitch McConnell and a handful of other members of Congress.

Congress has failed for months to approve a federal funding package for fiscal year 2024, which began Oct. 1, 2023. To maintain government, Johnson has passed several short-term funding bills. Even though Republicans hold a slight majority in the Lower House, the House speaker has had to rely on Democrats to pass laws while some members of the Republican Party continue to vote against spending bills.

News week contacted representatives for Johnson and the Biden administration by email for comment.

As Johnson highlighted some key spending gains for conservatives in the package released Sunday, several Republican lawmakers took to X, formerly Twitter, to criticize the package and blast the speaker.

GOP blows up spending bills
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson at the United States Capitol on February 29, 2024 in Washington, DC. Johnson faced criticism from his own party after congressional leaders released six spending bills on Sunday.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty

Rep. Chip Roy, a Republican from Texas, criticized the bill while sharing an article about Elon Musk’s X that said: “Three things America needs: – secure borders – safe cities – reasonable expenses.”

In his X post, the congressman called out Johnson and GOP leaders, writing: “cc: @MaisonGOP @SpeakerJohnson @SenateGOP @LeaderMcConnell (hint: this week’s Omni bills are not these).”

Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Georgia Republican, criticized the spending package and posted more than a dozen times on X where he listed policies that were “abandoned” during deal negotiations.

“First Swamp spending plan is out,” Clyde posted. “Follow all the policy victories that were RENDERED during the behind-the-scenes negotiations.”

Sen. Rick Scott, a Republican from Florida, posted on X: “BREAKING: @SenSchumer just released the text of the first six spending bills we’re supposed to vote on this week, which includes 605 PAGES OF APPROPRIATIONS. An example? Schumer’s $1 million request to build a new environmental justice center in New York…”

In a subsequent article, Scott took aim at former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“This isn’t just about Schumer collecting your taxes and putting us in more debt for stupid things,” Scott wrote on X. “Pelosi wants you to send $1 MILLION to San Francisco for a justice organization can make improvements to buildings. HELL NO!”

While sharing one of Scott’s X posts, Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, blasted the package on X.

“This affects a corrupt government,” Lee wrote. “Earmarks turn Republicans into Democrats. No Republican should support them. No Republican should vote for this bill.”

Despite some backlash from the Republican Party, congressional leaders praised the bill on social media.

Johnson presented the measure as a victory for his party and a blow to President Joe Biden. The speaker said in an article on X on Sunday that American taxpayers will “benefit” from the bill, hailing it as a victory for Republicans.

“House Republicans won key conservative policy victories, rejected left-wing proposals, and imposed deep cuts to agencies and programs critical to President Biden’s agenda,” Johnson wrote. “This legislation prohibits the Justice Department from targeting parents who exercise their free speech rights before school boards, while it prevents the Biden administration from stripping veterans’ Second Amendment rights. The Biden administration has threatened our freedoms and our economy, while fully funding veterans’ health care. »

Schumer, in a statement published on X, called the package “good news” and said leaders were proud to avoid a government shutdown “without cuts or poison pills.”
“Among the good things Democrats helped secure in this package, I am especially proud that it fully funds the vital WIC program, makes critical investments in our infrastructure, and strengthens programs that benefit services for our veterans Throughout the negotiations, Democrats fought hard to protect against cuts to housing and nutrition programs, and to remove harmful provisions that would further restrict women’s health access, or roll back the progress that we have achieved in the fight against climate change.

The Senate majority leader said the clock is “running out” until government funding runs out and urged the House and Senate to quickly pass the package.

Congress has until 12:01 a.m. Saturday to avoid a partial government shutdown for agencies included in the bill released Sunday, which includes funding for Veterans Affairs, Agriculture and Transportation.

Congressional leaders aim to vote on the package this week and continue discussions on the six other budget bills, which have a March 22 deadline. The second series of bills, still under negotiation, concerns defense financing.