After Republican Senate candidate, Herschel Walker lost in a runoff to incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock, Senate conservatives are tightening their grip on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to prevent an end-of-year omnibus spending bill from going through.
Senate Conservatives are instead pushing for a stop-gap spending bill to freeze federal spending levels until next year.
The push follows the devastating Walker defeat, which allowed Democrats to extend their majority in the next Congress.
Tuesday’s runoff defeat caps a disappointing midterm election cycle that doused any hopes Republicans had of recapturing the Senate.
Following the defeat, Senate Republican Steering Committee Chairman Mike Lee (R-Utah) has taken it upon himself to remind Republicans that signing off on an omnibus spending package would erode three decades of precedent.
In recent years, Republicans haven’t agreed to any spending packages during a lame-duck session that followed either Congressional chamber being flipped.
Lee pointed out that since 1994 the House of Representatives had flipped four times. He argued that in those instances, omnibus spending wasn’t passed during the lame-duck session following the election that flipped the House.
He asserted that an omnibus package wasn’t passed because ” it shouldn’t happen” and noted that voters had spoken about who they wanted to lead the House, asserting that voters and their elected officials wouldn’t like spending decisions made by an outgoing Congress.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) also argued that allowing the spending bill’s passage would mean lawmakers “abdicated” their responsibility, as the bill would be given to conservatives at the last minute to peruse.
The last-minute nature could mean the GOP doesn’t know what is included in the omnibus spending but that it adds “$1 trillion in debt next year.”