Republican Sens. Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Mike Lee (Utah) slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and their GOP colleagues on Sunday for supporting the $1.7 trillion omnibus package that Congress sent to President Biden’s desk on Friday.
The GOP senators had argued it would have been better to wait for the GOP to take control of the House in January to pass an omnibus bill, arguing this would have given Republicans more leverage.
Lee denounced the omnibus as “the ugliest spending bill on record,” taking aim at McConnell and the party’s Senate leadership in an interview with radio talk show host John Catsimatidis on Sunday.
“Our party leadership turned on Republican voters, turned on the Republican base, turned on most Republican senators,” Lee said on “The Cats Roundtable” on WABC 770 AM. “It has happened before, but this is one too many times. For me, this is the final straw.”
“As Republicans scratch their heads over their disappointing midterms, they ought to consider that voters don’t see much of a defining difference with Democrats,” he added.
The Senate easily passed the massive spending bill on Thursday, with 18 Republican senators joining Democrats in supporting the legislation that will fund the federal government through next September. The package is now headed to Biden for his signature, after passing the House on Friday.
Those arguing in favor of the omnibus said it was a way to lock-in increased defense spending for the next year. The bill included $858 billion in defense spending, a 9.7 percent increase over the year before, while non-defense spending was increased at a rate less than inflation.
Johnson, who also joined Catsimatidis on Sunday, criticized his fellow Republican senators for celebrating the omnibus package’s increase in defense spending.
“To declare that a victory, to say that’s a win, that’s like a football team that just lost the game 60 to 0, and they kick a field goal in the waning seconds and say the field goal is a big win,” Johnson said. “No, we just got our you-know-whats handed to us.”
The Wisconsin senator also took aim at the strategy of moving the omnibus before the next Congress, noting that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other House Republicans had requested that package be delayed.
“Unfortunately, the arrogance of our [Senate GOP] leadership who said, ‘We know better than House members. We’re going to pass this.’ … I’m not buying it,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, our supporters aren’t going to buy it either.”
Via The Hill