Democrats' domestic spending plans should be skirted in 2023 after the $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act passed this year and $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief in 2021, Republicans say.
"The reconciliation bills spent a ton on domestic," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told The Hill. "So, that has to be factored in and in terms of more domestic spending."
The GOP-led House will dictate spending, while the Senate will be there to approve it, but GOP senators are calling on defense spending to trump the dollars appropriated by Congress.
"The defense needs are real," Graham added. "There won't be an omnibus unless you have a generous defense number, and given the multiple trillions of dollars that were spent and reconciliation bills on domestic programs far beyond just COVID, it will be difficult to get a one-for-one."
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said she would "rather not see parity" between domestic and defense spending.
"I think that's an issue for me, and probably for others that believe in fiscal responsibility, too," she told The Hill. "The way our nation is laid out with our Constitution is that, No. 1, we're here as a federal government to protect the United States, and that's through national defense. That should be our priority."
Democrats, though, want both defense and domestic initiatives to be well-funded.
"We want to be secure nationally, and that's defense, but we want to be secure with regard to education with regard to health, transportation, etc.," Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., outgoing chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said Friday. "These are the pieces that strengthen the economy and the domestic economy.
"There has to be real strength on both sides, and I recognize that inflation exists," she continued, saying "inflation exists on the defense side," too.
Democrats are coming up on a deadline to fund the government under a continuing resolution that expires this month. There has been years of funding under a C.R., which might be a reality again.
"If Republicans won’t come to the table and negotiate, we could go to a one-year CR if that's what they want to do,” DeLauro told The Hill.
The House controls the purse and Democrats are facing the reality that the Biden administration will have a purse controlled by Republicans, which won the majority in November.
"The tension here, in my judgment, is between adequate defense funding and a recognition that the United States Congress has to do its part in controlling inflation," Sen. John Kennedy, R-La.
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