Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday, Aug. 4, laid out the Republican Party’s demands for a government-funding deal as Congress seeks a bipartisan consensus on a spending package to help avoid a looming shutdown.
“When it comes to floor consideration, we cannot and will not start planting individual trees before we have bipartisan consensus on the shape of the forest,” McConnell said at the Senate floor.
“Here’s what it will take to get a Senate appropriation process back on track,” he said, pointing to two things.
“Number one, Democrats will need to honor the longstanding bipartisan truce that provides parody for defense and non-defense spending growth. And at a responsible overall number that we can all accept our men and women in uniform and the nation they defense deserve better than a budget that cuts our national defense after inflation and allows adversaries to get an edge,” he said.
“Number two, we must have agreement that we’re going to keep longstanding bipartisan policy riders in and new poison bill riders out. We need to keep foundational mainstays like the Hyde amendment right where they are,” McConnell said, adding that neither side should throw new wrenches into the process.
According to The Hill, the Senate GOP leader presented the demands as Congress faces an end-of-September deadline to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. They will likely use a continuing resolution, which will fund the government at the current level to get them past Oct. 1.
McConnell’s warning also comes after the Senate Appropriations Committee cleared its first package of fiscal 2022 funding bills, underscoring that they currently do not face a smooth path to the Senate floor.
With 50 votes in the 100-seat Senate, Republicans can block any bill from coming up for debate. McConnell has previously threatened to block the bipartisan infrastructure bill if Democrats move quickly to end the debate on amendments.