McCarthy tells members he is a ‘hell no’ on omnibus spending bill

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, speaks during his weekly press conference on Capitol Hill, Thursday, July 30th, 2020.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, speaks during his weekly press conference on Capitol Hill, Thursday, July 30th, 2020. (Graeme Jennings/Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner)

McCarthy tells members he is a ‘hell no’ on omnibus spending bill

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told members of his conference he is a “hell no” on an omnibus spending deal during a closed-door meeting on Tuesday as Congress looks to avert a government shutdown ahead of its Dec. 16 deadline.

His comments come as members of the House Freedom Caucus, many of whom have voiced opposition to voting for the California Republican to become the next speaker unless major concessions are made, push for a short-term continuing resolution, arguing that Republicans will have more leverage to negotiate a better deal when they take the majority in January.

MCCONNELL THREATENS SHORT-TERM CONTINUING RESOLUTION IF DEMOCRATS DON’T MEET OMNIBUS DEMANDS

“As I said last week, Republicans will soon be in the majority and in the driver’s seat to fight for our priorities,” McCarthy tweeted on Tuesday. “That’s why every Republican should be a NO on Democrats’ lame-duck omnibus bill.”

While McCarthy has expressed reluctance to back a sweeping bipartisan spending deal, some within his conference said they believe members would rally around a package that doesn’t dramatically increase spending levels.

“The focus from individuals within the conference was on unity. When [Rep. Bob] Good [R-VA] talked about the need for unity on omni, we thought it was rich. He’s been one of most divisive folks in conference,” one GOP lawmaker told the Washington Examiner, adding that they believe most members, including McCarthy, would likely support an omnibus that doesn’t include large increases to spending numbers.

Multiple lawmakers are pushing for a one-week stop-gap measure to provide additional time for lawmakers to hash out a spending deal, with negotiators expressing optimism that they are close to a deal ahead of Christmas.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said late last month that there is “widespread agreement that we’d be better off with an omnibus” than a short-term stop-gap but noted there would be “significant hurdles to get over to do that.”

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