House Minority Whip Steve Scalise called out the Senate’s bipartisan omnibus spending bill for being bloated with earmarks as well as funding for other nations’ border security – not the United States’.
In one section, the bill requires $410 million to “remain available” to reimburse Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Oman for “enhanced border security.” At least $150 million of that must go to Jordan, according to the legislation.
On “Hannity,” Scalise said House Republican leadership is united against the bill, while additionally trying to expose “bad things” in it.
In one case, Scalise’s GOP colleague from North Carolina, Rep. Dan Bishop, has been tweeting out sections of the massive legislation that he finds “egregious.”
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Scalise added that Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is also attempting to add an amendment to the legislation that would extend Title 42 immigration restrictions.
“I hope Mike Lee successful, but there’s absolutely nothing in this bill for border security – [it’s] hundreds of billions of dollars [but] nobody can tell you what’s in it,” he said.
“It was just filed, and they’re going to vote on it in dark of night. It would be ironic but appropriate that they would try to vote on it at 3 in the morning.”
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Scalise added the GOP won the House majority in the forthcoming 2023 session in part because they ran on fiscal responsibility and domestic border security.
“But you see them running this thing through by dark of night with billions in things that – they’re doing border security in foreign countries, and they’re impeding border security in our country,” he said.
“Everything about this is the wrong way to go. I hope they reverse course.”
Scalise said he would also support a “third option” for the legislation, beyond a for-or-against argument, in that a short-term continuing resolution could be passed to allow the new GOP-led House to have input on such longer-term legislation.
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“Nobody can tell you what is in it, because they were just throwing things in,” he said.
“It was like a Christmas tree being thrown together and lit up right at the end of Christmas. And it’s a lot of coal. It’s not a lot of gifts right now.”
Scalise and the incoming House Appropriations Committee chairwoman, Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, have laid out a schedule for future spending bills to be passed by Summer 2023, as opposed to later in the year.
“We need to lay down a marker early that the Senate has to do their job and not wait till the midnight hour,” he said.
“This has become a problem that’s gone on for years now, where the Senate waits until September 30th. They just do C.R. after C.R.; short-term funding bills because they know they can wait until Christmas Eve, throw something together in this big omnibus bill where they have everything under the sun that nobody can read.”