As debate continues in the Senate regarding the $1.85 trillion omnibus spending bill, one conservative senator is asking his Republican colleagues to stay in Washington.
“Republican senators: DO NOT LEAVE WASHINGTON. We need you here to support Title 42,” tweeted Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, Wednesday night.
Lee’s plea came amid his fight to get a vote on continuing to keep in place Title 42, which allows the U.S. to quickly expel illegal immigrants during a public health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, as an amendment to the omnibus spending bill.
“After getting literally everything they want in this 4,155-page monstrosity, the Democrats won’t give us an up-or-down vote on an amendment to preserve Title 42. Why? Because it will pass, and that terrifies them because they want chaos on the border,” tweeted the Utah senator Wednesday night.
He added: “All Senate Republicans should be ready and willing to return to the Capitol to support Title 42, even on short notice.”
Senate Democrats have so far not allowed a vote on Lee’s amendment.
It is possible that Lee’s amendment could derail passage of the $1.85 trillion omnibus. “If we don’t get an omnibus passed by tomorrow then Sen. [Mitch] McConnell has said he’s for a [continuing resolution] into next year, so it looks like we’re on a path to a CR,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, per Politico.
A group of House Republicans have been urging Senate Republicans to forgo passing the omnibus spending bill so that the new House GOP majority can negotiate a spending deal with the Senate in 2023.
“Senate Republicans have the 41 votes necessary to stop this and should do so now and show the Americans who elected you that they weren’t wrong in doing so,” a group of House conservatives wrote in a letter Monday. “The American people did not elect us—any of us—to continue the status quo in Washington, as this bill will undoubtedly do.”
Lee showed support for a delay in another couple of tweets Monday night, writing:
With a 4,155-page omnibus spending bill that advances Democratic priorities and spends too much money, Republicans should remember that they don’t have to support this beast. … Senate Republicans should instead support a short-term spending bill, allowing the new Congress—with the incoming Republican House—to start the spending process over again in January.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who said he supports the omnibus spending bill, tweeted in support of Lee.
“Republicans are willing to work with Democrats, but not at all costs,” wrote the South Carolina senator, adding, “If the omnibus – which dramatically increases military spending and funds the government – fails because Democrats care more about letting Title 42 lapse than funding the federal government, so be it.”
“If this bill fails because Senator Lee was not allowed a vote on extending Title 42, it will be one of the lowest points in the history of the United States Senate,” Graham said.
Heritage Foundation policy analysts have criticized the omnibus spending bill as a “vast collection of special-interest handouts and fuel for the fires of inflation and the woke, leftist establishment” and warned that it “will stifle our economy and accelerate the dissolution of the fabric of our civil society for many years to come.” (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had urged senators to vote on the omnibus spending bill quickly on Tuesday, citing the weather. “We must finish passing this omnibus before the deadline on Friday when government funding runs out, but we hope to do it much sooner than that because we’re mindful that a nor’easter is barreling down the East Coast on Thursday and Friday,” Schumer said, per The Hill.
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