Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has made demands for the 2023 budget that, if not met, will lead to a government shutdown or a continuing resolution into next year.
McConnell has demanded the Senate pass the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes funding for the armed forces. However, McConnell claimed Democrats are attempting to throw nondefense-related expenses into the budget for fiscal 2023 that are delaying an agreement.
“A funding agreement would need to fully fund our national defense at the level written into the NDAA without lavishing extra funding beyond what President Joe Biden even requested onto Democrats’ partisan domestic priorities,” McConnell said Monday.
McConnell argued that Democrats have already passed major domestic policy bills that fund their agenda and do not need to tack on unrelated policies to a defense spending bill. Democrats most notably passed the trillion-dollar Inflation Reduction Act recently, which saw funding for a wide array of domestic issues, including funding for climate-related projects.
McConnell noted that playing partisan by tacking on domestic policies would prevent the bill from passing.
“Democrats must be ready to actually fund the national defense, which this bipartisan NDAA will authorize,” McConnell said last week. “Neither party has any standing to demand unrelated goodies in exchange for doing our job and funding defense. And let’s hope this new acceptance of reality also finally shapes President Biden’s next defense budget request. We have yet to see a proposed budget from this administration that takes growing threats seriously.”
McConnell said he wants funding that will give military officers the confidence they need to invest, plan, and stay competitive with military rivals such as China. But if Democrats do not drop the domestic provisions, Republicans would file a continuing resolution that pushes the bill into January.
The House of Representatives already passed the NDAA last week, which includes a $45 billion bonus on top of the $813 billion request by the Biden administration, with that extra funding increasing the allotment provided for procurement; research, development, test, and evaluation; operation and maintenance; military construction; and defense-related nuclear programs.
The NDAA breaks down into $279 billion for military personnel, $210 billion for military personnel and health, $163 billion for procurement, $139 billion for research, development, test, and evaluation, $30 billion for defense-related nuclear programs, and $19 billion for military construction. Democrats have proposed pulling some of the funding for the military to compensate for the extra finances for domestic issues, including a voting rights provision.
Republicans are looking to reduce the proposed budget for domestic policies that was offered by Democrats by $26 billion, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) told CNN.
If the shutdown is not averted, government funding is set to run out on Friday.