House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said the House will no longer pass “omnibus” spending bills under GOP leadership and that Republicans will return to traditional ways of working. This means passing individual spending bills to give Congress a chance to manage the government as they are a committee.
In a news conference at House Republican Retreat in Florida, House Speaker McCarthy said, “we’re not taking up an omnibus.”
Last year’s passage of a $1.7 trillion spending bill for the rest of the 2023 fiscal year sparked outrage amongst Republicans. The bill was introduced by Democrats in the final days of the last Congress.
The bill was a combination of 12 annual spending bills amounting to 4,155 pages. Democrats in the Senate and House rushed to pass it just days before Republicans were set to take control of the House.
GOP lawmakers complained that there was little time to read over and amend the bill and that under the rules of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California., lawmakers had the option to vote remotely without having to show up on the House floor.
McCarthy made it clear that the bill is “not going to happen” and criticized the Democrats’ process in passing the bill.
“They changed all the rules like you didn’t have to show up, bills don’t have to go through a committee and all bills are written with the Speaker. That doesn’t sustain well,” he said.
Republican lawmakers like Chip Roy, R-Texas, said the Democrats are destroying the country by spending “money we don’t have.” Roy and other GOP members also criticized the 18 Republican senators who allowed the bill to pass.
GOP lawmakers took control of the House days later and vowed to make sure that Congress would manage the federal government by passing spending bills through a committee. A House rules package approved by the GOP says that spending bills will not be considered if they increase mandatory spending over a 5- or 10-year period and that offsetting spending cuts must be found to cover the new spending.
Under the Republican majority, committees will hold spending steady or cut spending, which will give the GOP leverage over the Senate, where the 51-49 majority will make it difficult for senators to find any broad agreement on spending.
McCarthy said he believes “we’ve got to get back to the foundation the way Congress and Senate were designed. They have ideas, they pass something, we pass something, we go to conference, and work it out.”