(CNSNews.com) – Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says the Senate should pass the newly released $1.7-trillion year-long omnibus spending bill that runs more than 4,000 pages — a spending extravaganza produced without the benefit of committee hearings.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (California) disagrees with McConnell — don’t pass it, McCarthy said, because it locks in Democrats’ big-spending priorities for a full year.
McCarthy wants Congress to pass a short-term continuing resolution instead, “so government doesn’t shut down.” Then, when the new Congress convenes in January, the new Republican majority would be able to set their own spending priorities, rather than being stuck with Democrats’ priorities for the next year.
“We’re two leaks away, 14 days away from having a stronger hand in negotiations,” McCarthy told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham Tuesday night.
“This is our leverage that would be giving away for the whole next year. They (Democrats) will lock-in their philosophies, so if we end up in a spending battle in a year from now, and we end up in a continuing resolution, these Democrat policies will be locked in. Why would you give away a stronger hand,” he asked.
According to the elderly, retiring Senators Patrick Leahy and Richard Shelby, who negotiated the omnibus, the massive bill — all 12 spending bills rolled into one — provides $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs and $858 billion in defense funding.
There’s $44.9 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine and NATO allies; and $40.6 billion to assist communities across the country recovering from drought, hurricanes, flooding, wildfire, natural disasters and other matters.
According to a fact sheet, the Homeland Security section of the bill “Respects the Dignity of Immigrants,” with $1.9 billion in new funding to improve processing, sheltering, and medical care at CBP and ICE.
The bill also:
— Invests in alternatives to detention for migrants with $442.7 million;
— Provides $268 million for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, including $109.6 million for the E-Verify program, $133.4 million for refugee processing and $25 million for the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program;
— Includes $800 million for the shelter and services program for migrants;
— “Protects border security” with “responsible investments” for “border technology, to improve inspections at ports of entry, to hire more staff, and to strengthen body-worn camera programs at CBP and ICE.”
(McCarthy noted that there’s no money to secure the southwest border between ports of entry, but he said the bill does provide actual border security “in five Middle Eastern countries.”)
Another section of the bill provides Federal Bureau of Investigation with $11.33 billion, an increase of $569.6 million above the fiscal year 2022 enacted level and $524 million above the President’s budget request, including for efforts to investigate extremist violence and domestic terrorism.
— United States Attorneys get $2.63 billion, an increase of $212.1 million above fiscal year 2022, including to further support prosecutions related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and domestic terrorism cases.
(Fox News’s Laura Ingraham called the funding for U.S. attorneys a “political targeting slush fund.”)
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) gets $1.75 billion, an increase of $215.9 million above the fiscal year 2022 enacted level, to bolster efforts to prevent and respond to gun violence.
(Elsewhere, another provision gives the National Institutes of Health (NIH) $12.5 million to continue firearm injury and mortality prevention research.)
The entire, lengthy list of social programs, climate programs, housing programs, child nutrition programs, education programs, racial justice programs and many others can be found here:
Capturing the absurdity of the omnibus process, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tweeted a photo of himself with all 4,155 pages of the omnibus bill text.
“I wonder how long it would take the clerk to read this,” he wrote.
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