Senators Signal Support for House Spending Battle

( – At the end of last year, lawmakers came to an agreement that avoided a government shutdown. The Continuing Resolution basically kept the government open but pushed the can down the road until the new year. The time has now come for Congress to pass another spending bill. A fight over immigration threatens the passage of critical spending bills.

Fight Over Immigration

Last year, President Joe Biden’s administration asked Congress to pass a supplemental funding request worth more than $100 billion. The spending package would allow for more aid to Ukraine, Israel, and border security at home. Republicans in both chambers of Congress want nothing to do with the spending package if the president doesn’t intend to pass stricter immigration policies to stem the flow of migrants pouring into America. More than 300,000 entered in December alone.

As Congress heads back into session, it’s unclear if lawmakers are going to work on that issue in the immediate future. With that in mind, some Conservatives are signaling they might support derailing the upcoming government spending deadlines to force Biden to pass stricter border policies.

In a January 4 interview, Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) told Fox News Digital, “All options are on the table.” He called it ironic that lawmakers “are having to beg the president of the United States to secure the border” and might have to give up Ukrainian aid or do something to the spending package.

Lawmakers Reach Deal

On January 7, the leaders in the House and Senate announced they’d reached an agreement for 2024 spending. According to The Hill, the new deal caps the spending at the levels from last year. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) said the topline spending is $1.590 trillion for fiscal year 2024. The deal “includes $886 billion for defense and $704 billion for nondefense,” according to the speaker.

Johnson said Republicans are going to continue to pursue policy riders that target diversity efforts and abortion. He also addressed concerns by far-right Conservatives, saying the new deal secures approximately $16 billion in new spending cuts. He said the spending levels aren’t going to “satisfy everyone, and they do not cut as much spending as” Republicans want, but they have created a process to move forward.

The House and Senate still have to vote on spending bills. Lawmakers could hold out for immigration changes and shut the government down in the process, but that remains to be seen. The first spending deadline is January 19.

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