Pelosi commends $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill and rallies Democrats behind it

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., responds to questions about appropriations, relations with China, immigration, and her legacy as the Democratic leader, as she meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. Pelosi will step aside as speaker in the new Congress in January. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Pelosi commends $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill and rallies Democrats behind it

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Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is rallying her fellow Democrats to back the bipartisan $1.7 trillion omnibus spending aimed at averting a government shutdown.

Pelosi rattled off a slew of liberal victories in the bill in a letter to House Democrats on Tuesday as House Republicans move aggressively to torpedo the bill in hopes of gaining more negotiating leverage when they retake the lower chamber in January.

“Proudly, Democrats’ tenacious negotiating has yielded a significant increase in non-defense discretionary funding — larger than the boost we won in last March’s government funding bill,” she wrote in a letter to colleagues. “It is urgent and necessary that we enact this omnibus package, so that we may keep government open and delivering for America’s families.”

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Liberal victories she cited include emergency disaster relief for the Jackson, Mississippi, crisis, reforming the Electoral Count Act of 1887, additional funding for Ukraine, and increased funding for the National Labor Relations Board. Liberals suffered a few losses in the negotiations, such as action on Big Tech monopolies and sought-after environmentalist reforms.

Republicans also scored a few victories in negotiations, such as slashing the IRS budget by $275 million over the next year. The omnibus bill is intended to avert a government shutdown, which could take place at midnight Friday ahead of Christmas if no agreement is reached.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has vehemently opposed the spending bill and threatened to tank any legislation from Republican senators who back it should he become speaker. His battle lines come as he stares down a rocky road to the speakership. His threat also serves as an overture to his conservative critics who want a stop-gap measure so they can negotiate a long-term spending agreement while in control of the House.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has left the door open to supporting the omnibus measure, and some senators, such as Lindsey Graham (R-SC), have signaled support.

The omnibus bill, which was unveiled at 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, will fund the government through fiscal 2023. It features about $773 billion in domestic spending and $858 billion for defense. The compromise bill is the result of weeks of negotiations between leading congressional appropriators Sens. Pat Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).

Notably, Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, did not take part in brokering the final agreement, which highlights the stiff opposition among House Republicans.

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“The 117th Congress has been one of the most consequential in recent history. As we conclude it on a strong note, thank you for your continued leadership For The People,” Pelosi added.

Pelosi will continue serving in the House after leaving the speakership post after serving as the No. 1 House Democrat for nearly two decades. She will be succeeded by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) as minority leader.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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