June 25, 2024

Speaker Kevin McCarthy stood tall on Wednesday in a move that may surprise some, asserting that the House will not pass a continuing resolution that includes more money for Ukraine and that doesn’t help secure the border. 

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The comments came during a closed-door meeting with the GOP caucus in which McCarthy reiterated his plan to pass separate spending bills. That stands in stark contrast to the last several decades of massive, pork-filled omnibus packages propagated by his predecessor, Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Conservatives will no doubt be happy with that position. On the other side of the building, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been working with Democrats in the Senate to pass a CR that would include another $4.5 billion for Ukraine. It would also lack any stipulations to secure the border. Republicans in the House are skeptical about giving yet another chunk of cash to a war that has ground to a stalemate while allowing the Southern border to keep spinning out of control. 

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Further, McCarthy is doing what he can to back up his play in practical terms. The House has already advanced four individual appropriations bills (there are 12 total), with even fiscal hawk Rep. Thomas Massie supporting them due to regular order being used. As long as the GOP caucus holds together, we might finally see an end to the omnibus madness. 

Lastly, the fact that McCarthy is even willing to take the stand he’s taking signals that he has enough Republican support to be successful. The GOP majority is extremely slim, but if it remains unified, the Senate will have to play ball.

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