In a show of division between Republicans in the lower and upper Congressional chambers, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA.) is set to oppose the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package Senator Minority Mitch McConnell (R-KY.) helped negotiate.
McCarthy will formally begin his break from McConnell and Senate Republicans at the Senate steering meeting on Wednesday (December 21), one day after Senate leaders agreed to the bill.
At the meeting, McCarthy is set to campaign against the omnibus package before Congress gives a final vote on the spending package later on Wednesday.
The Californian Republican may not need to do that much convincing as other House Republicans have pointed out their misgivings about the cost of some proposals in the omnibus spending package, ammunition he can use to dissuade his Senate counterparts.
For example, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) has taken issue with a portion of the package he described as “sinister” — $600 million allocated to family planning efforts in areas where human population growth could threaten animal biodiversity.
Bishop described the practice — Malthusianism — as a “disturbing” and “anti-human ideology,” declaring it to have “ZERO place in any federal program.”
McCarthy may also use his misgivings about funding Ukraine’s military efforts to the tune of $45 billion allocated to such measures in the omnibus package.
The infighting over the spending bill comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits Washington for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine.
However, Zelenskyy’s presence is unlikely to dissuade McCarthy from using others within the GOP’s misgivings about funding Ukraine, a practice he describes as giving “blank checks” to the soviet country and believes should end.
McConnell disagrees, expressing being “all in” on funding Ukraine’s military efforts.
Besides advocating for changes, McCarthy believes Senate Republicans to postpone the passage of the bill until the GOP claims its majority in the House, which he believes will give the party more leverage to lower spending within the bill.