Faced with a backlog of spending bills and the possibility of a government shutdown, 20 Republican senators led by Sen. Rick Scott (Fla.) have now officially announced that they will defer the consideration of non-funding-related legislation on the Senate floor.
Scott distributed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday during the Senate Republican lunch telling him that GOP senators will not stand for any further postponement of the yearly appropriations bills, none of which have yet passed the Senate.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso (Wyo. ), GOP Policy Committee Chairwoman Joni Ernst (Iowa), and GOP Conference Vice Chairwoman Shelley Moore-Capito (W.Va.) are among the signatures.
The letter was also signed by Mike Braun of Indiana, Katie Britt of Alabama, Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Eric Schmitt of Missouri, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, and Roger Wicker of Mississipi.
The GOP senators are cautioning Schumer not to introduce any items that are not appropriations bills to the Senate floor because they believe that if spending bills are allowed to accumulate until December, Congress will definitely pass another huge omnibus spending bill.
However, provided Schumer agrees to a strategy for passing the spending bills in a timely manner and with an open amendment process, the senators have promised to evaluate them quickly.
Republicans had been lashing out at Democrat Majority Leader Schumer on Wednesday for holding off on introducing a spending plan this week before senators break for Columbus Day.
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