It looks like Kevin McCarthy is in for a tough time as the Senate and House prepare to clash over the budget. The far-right members of his conference are demanding more funding for their pet projects, while he’s trying to keep the government from running out of money before the end of September.
As the Senate appropriators debate the details of the new debt ceiling agreement, the House is starting to raise some eyebrows by setting their own budget bills below the caps.
Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader, is in a tight spot because his conservative caucus members are demanding that he keep his promise to cut spending. Twenty-one of them have threatened to oppose any legislation that doesn't meet their demands. They also want all of the spending measures to be at the 2022 levels.
House and Senate set for a collision course on government funding https://t.co/LJCueVrsfG
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 23, 2023
The Senate is not happy with the caps on spending. Patty Murray, the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Susan Collins, the Ranking Member of the Committee, have agreed to add several billion dollars to emergency and defense funds. They argue that these are necessary for certain programs, such as disaster relief and program integrity. However, the House Republicans are not buying it. Their goal is to see spending get slashed.
The clock is ticking, and the House and Senate must pass the various appropriations bills before August recess. If they can't reach a deal, then we might end up with a short-term stopgap measure, which would keep the government running until September. It's not ideal, but it gives Congress a chance to debate the budgets.
This is what politics is all about, and it's like watching a game of tug-of-war. Except instead of a rope, it's a collection of money that could threaten the government's financial stability.