A group of conservative Senators is pushing President Trump‘s plan to reduce spending by over $15 billion despite all of their Republican colleagues’ concerns.
On Friday, ten Senate conservatives introduced the rescissions package and said that they were pumping out the legislation so it can reach the Senate within the 45-day window so they can avoid a Democratic filibuster.
Senator Ted Cruz is also promoting the bill, his office said.
“Yes, a $15 billion spending reduction is a drop in the bucket compared to a $15 trillion debt,” Lee stated. “But we have to start cutting spending somewhere.”
“Washington has long been spending tax dollars like a bunch of drunken sailors,” Kennedy added.
The legislation’s list of co-sponsors reveal a lack of support from leaders of the Senate and Senator Richard Shelby, the Senate Appropriations Committee chairman.
The GOP seized on the dynamic afternoon on Friday, and President of FreedomWorks Adam Brandon said the absence of conservative leaders “speaks volumes.”
“Clearly, Senate rank and file are the ones concerned with reckless spending. If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.] is not going to take up the White House’s proposal to impound unobligated funds, it is good to that know we have Sens. Lee, Paul, and others to stick up for American taxpayers,” he stated.
On May 8, Donald Trump’s administration requested Congress to claw back 15.4 billion dollars in spending from funds that were approved previously. Legislators must approve the bill in 45 days to prevent a 60-vote Senate filibuster.
Leaders of the Senate GOP have been considering the bill if it is able to pass the House.
“My understanding of the rescission package is that it does not breach the bipartisan agreement we reached in the caps deal. If the House is able to pass the rescissions package, we’ll take a look at it,” McConnell recently told reporters.
However, it will be hard for Republicans to get 50 votes without help from the Democrats, who have refused because the bill targets the Children’s Health Insurance Program and funds set aside for the Ebola outbreak of 2015.
Earlier this month, Shelby warned the bill “could take funds away from a lot of us in the South, on transportation. And that’s not going to be a very popular thing.”
Late last week, Murkowski said she had spoken with Budget Chief of the White House Mick Mulvaney. She said he was open to changing the bill to address some concerns she mentioned.
“[But] a lot of it has to do just with the fact that we have directed that spending and rescissions effectively take that away from us as the Congress,” said Murkowski.