Basic Requirements for Bipartisan Government Funding Have Been Clear for Months

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding government funding:

“Yesterday, the House of Representatives introduced legislation to keep the federal government open and funded through mid-March.

“Avoiding a government shutdown in the near term is an obvious, commonsense step. But our military commanders and their civilian bosses badly need our country to escape the hamster wheel of chronic continuing resolutions. The urgent task of continuing to modernize and strengthen our military requires predictable budgeting and advance planning.

“So I’m glad that bipartisan, bicameral conversations about a long-term funding agreement remain underway.

“Let me briefly reiterate some basic facts that are known to everybody in Congress. I have been saying since last year that three basic boxes will need to be checked for a government funding deal to pass the Senate and make it to the President’s desk.

“Number one: The agreement will need to honor the longstanding bipartisan norm that spending growth for our national defense receives parity with spending growth for non-defense.

“We live in a world that is too dangerous for Democrats to go hog-wild on domestic programs and welfare. Instead, we need to refocus our attention on resourcing our great-power competitions with Russia and China in equal measure.

“Number two: Any agreement will need to preserve longstanding bipartisan policy riders. Again, this is just the bipartisan norm. The Hyde Amendment prevents taxpayers from having to fund abortion against their will. Another rider prevents the IRS from weaponizing political bias and targeting citizens.

“In a 50-50 Senate, we’ll obviously need to honor the bipartisan status quo on legacy riders.

“And number three: Likewise, any agreement will need to keep new partisan poison pills out of the process.

“That’s been the big picture for months now.

“Parity for defense; keeping longstanding bipartisan policy riders in; and keeping new poison pills out.

“With these basic things, a bipartisan deal should be achievable. Without them, one will be impossible,

“I want to thank Ranking Member Shelby for his tireless work. I hope our Democratic colleagues in both chambers will fully embrace this noncontroversial framework — which has been clear to everybody for months — so Congress can soon deliver the full-year funding that our servicemembers need to keep us safe.”