Sen. Lee Demands Omnibus Amendment on Extending Title 42: 'All I Want Is an Up-or-Down Vote'

( – The bloated 4,155-page, $1.7-trillion omnibus spending bill that would codify Democrat priorities for the next year is a bad deal for Americans, some Republican senators are warning.

Sen. Mike Lee (-Utah) is one of those objecting Republicans.

He told Fox News that the bill — which would fund government operations and some 7,500 pork-barrel projects — does nothing to protect the U.S. border, although it does fund border security in five foreign countries.

“So I insisted that we have at least one amendment, up-or-down vote, on whether to preserve Title 42,” Lee said. “Because Title 42 is the one thing standing between us and utter chaos. We already have mostly chaos; this would bring us to utter chaos if it expires, which it’s about to.

“All I want is an up-or-down vote. Chuck Schumer and the Democrats are terrified of an up or down vote. Why? Well, because they want absolute pandemonium and chaos on the border. And they’re terrified of this vote, because they will lose, as they should lose. 


“And so I’m standing firm, I’m going to demand an up-or-down vote. If they don’t give us the up or down vote. This is going to be very difficult for them, and it probably will cost them the omnibus.” 

Lee, like many Republicans, would prefer to pass a short-term continuing resolution that would fund the government until Republicans take control of the House in January, when they would pass their own spending bills.

‘Bad bill for taxpayers’

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) said House Republicans are “fighting” the omnibus, “but we’re also exposing just how many bad things are in this bill,” he told Fox News Wednesday night.

Scalise pointed to Mike Lee’s planned amendment: “I hope Mike Lee is successful,” he said, noting “there’s absolutely nothing in this bill for border security.”

“Nobody can tell you what’s in it, it was just filed, and they’re going to vote on it in dark of night,” Scalise said:

“It would be ironic but appropriate that they would try to vote on it at 3 in the morning. This is a bad bill for taxpayers. But we’ve got to change the way that business is done in Washington.  It’s what we ran on we won the House majority on that.

“But you see them running this thing through by dark of night, billions in things that — they’re doing border security in foreign countries and they’re impeding border security in our country.  Everything about this is the wrong way to go. I hope they reverse course.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging passage of what he calls an “imperfect” but necessary bill.  On Wednesday, McConnell said, “Senators have two options this week: We will either give our Armed Forces the resources and certainty that they need, or we will deny it to them.”

No, said Scalise: There’s a third option, and that would be a short-term continuing resolution to keep government operating until House Republicans can produce their own spending bills — will less pork, perhaps.

“It’s a third option that will keep things going, but not have all of this pork,” Scalise said. “All of this new spending that nobody can explain.”

Scalise said that he, as the incoming majority leader, already has laid out plans to pass all spending bills through the House by September, the end of the government’s fiscal year.

But he doesn’t control what happens, or doesn’t happen, in the Democrat-led Senate.


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