The Government Funding Agreement Conforms To The Conservative Policy Guidelines Leader McConnell Has Defined For Months

This Year, Leader McConnell Clearly Laid Out Conservative Policy Markers That Would Have To Be Met In Any Bipartisan Government Funding Agreement And The Appropriations Legislation Released Today Conforms To Those Policies


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “The bipartisan government funding bill that Senators Shelby and Leahy have finished negotiating does exactly the opposite of what the Biden Administration first proposed. This bill provides a substantial real-dollar increase to the defense baseline… and a substantial real-dollar cut to the non-defense, non-veterans baseline. Let me say that again. President Biden wanted to cut defense spending and grow liberal domestic spending in real dollars. But Congress is rejecting the Biden Administration’s vision and doing the exact opposite. This bill will grow defense spending and cut non-defense, non-veterans spending after inflation…. It’s a strange position, to say the least, when Republicans in Congress have to poke and prod a Democratic Commander-in-Chief into sufficiently funding the men and women that he commands. But as I said all along, funding our Armed Forces is a basic governing duty. Republicans were not going to let our Democratic colleagues demand extra left-wing goodies in exchange for doing their job and funding our troops. The President’s own party does not get to take our national defense hostage and demand rewards…. The bipartisan bill that our colleagues have negotiated equips our Armed Forces with the resources they need while cutting non-defense, non-veterans spending in real dollars. This is a strong outcome for Republicans, and much more importantly, it’s the outcome that our nation’s security needs.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/19/2022)


Policy: No Parity Between Essential Defense Funding And Liberal Domestic Priorities

December 14: LEADER McCONNELL: “I am glad that our Democratic colleagues finally accepted reality and conceded to the Republican position that we need to prioritize our national security. Republicans simply were not going to lavish extra liberal spending on the Commander-in-Chief’s own party as a reward for adequately funding the national defense. It wasn’t going to happen. Funding defense is a basic, bipartisan duty of government — not something that earns Democrats special treats.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/14/2022)

December 13: LEADER McCONNELL: “But following through on these promises also requires that we pass robust appropriations. I made that clear at last week’s briefing with Biden Administration officials. And I’ll say it again: Providing for the common defense is a fundamental governing responsibility. It is not extra credit. Our Democratic colleagues will not receive a goodie bag of domestic spending in exchange for fulfilling this solemn duty.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/13/2022)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “I think we’re very close to getting an omnibus appropriation bill that would be, I think, broadly appealing. It would meet the defense number of the NDAA without having to pay a bonus above what President Biden asked for, for domestic priorities of the Democrats. Why would they accept that? Well, they over -- according to our calculations -- spent about $700 billion in the two reconciliation bills earlier this Congress on their domestic priorities. So the priority now is to get defense adequately funded. … Senator Schumer’s in charge of the floor. He determines whether or not we pass individual appropriation bills and he decides how to process it. So we’re on defense. We’re dealing with the cards that we were dealt. And what I would say is given the fact that the Democrats have this presidency, the House, and the Senate, to meet our defense number and to not pay any bonus to the Democrats on the domestic side to achieve the defense number is far and away the best we could do, given the fact that we don’t control the floor or the government.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Conference, 12/13/2022)

December 12: LEADER McCONNELL: “Funding our national defense is a basic governing duty. The Commander-in-Chief’s own party does not get to demand a pile of unrelated goodies in exchange for doing their job and funding our Armed Forces. If House and Senate Democratic colleagues can accept these realities in the very near future, we may still have a shot at assembling a full-year funding bill that will give our military commanders the certainty they need to invest, plan, and stay competitive with rivals like China.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/12/2022)

December 8: LEADER McCONNELL: “Yesterday, I explained a simple and obvious reality that will determine whether the NDAA and government funding legislation succeed or fail. Here’s the simple fact: Protecting America and supporting our troops is not some partisan Republican priority that we will cajole and reward Democrats into accepting. Providing for the common defense is a basic, minimum responsibility of being in government. Passing a defense authorization bill and appropriating the money our military needs are not right-wing demands that Democrats get unrelated goodies for going along with. A Commander-in-Chief’s own party does not get to take our troops hostage for unrelated policy aims. Democrats will not be getting special rewards for doing their job.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/08/2022)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “The same reality applies to appropriations, as well. Democrats just spent two years using the partisan reconciliation process to lavish trillions of extra dollars on liberal, domestic demands while our Armed Forces languished on the back burner. The Biden Administration printed and spent trillions on things like welfare and solar panels like there was no tomorrow, but they couldn’t even assemble a budget proposal that sufficiently funded our troops. So my friends across the aisle have zero standing to demand even more liberal domestic spending in exchange for giving our Armed Forces what they need. Our Commander-in-Chief and his party have spent huge sums on domestic priorities outside the normal appropriations process without a penny for the Defense Department. Obviously, we won’t allow them to now hijack the government funding process, too, and take our troops hostage for even more liberal spending. Protecting America is our job. Republicans will not be bribing our Democratic colleagues with special treats, as if they need to be bargained into defending America.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/08/2022)

December 7: LEADER McCONNELL: “Now that same lesson must carry over into our subsequent conversations about government funding. Democrats must be ready to actually fund the national defense which this bipartisan NDAA will authorize. Just like on this bill, neither party has any standing to demand unrelated goodies in exchange for doing our job and funding defense. And let’s hope this new acceptance of reality also finally shapes President Biden’s next defense budget request. We have yet to see a proposed budget from this Administration that takes growing threats seriously.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/07/2022)


Policy: Defense Funding Must Exceed Inflation In Order To Rebuild Our Military And Keep Pace With Potential Threats

April 7: LEADER McCONNELL: “Last week, President Biden released his budget request for next year. The President got to take a blank canvas and sketch his policy vision for the country. But in the critical area of defending our nation, the President’s vision came up way short. Even amidst a hot war in Europe, bipartisan recognition of threats from China, North Korean nuclear and missile proliferation, and Iran’s nuclear, missile, and terrorism trifecta, President Biden proposes to underfund our Armed Forces. Even if Democrats manage to magically get their runaway inflation under control faster than anybody predicts, their proposal would only flat-fund defense. While China keeps ramping their military spending way up, the Biden budget would have America treading water — at best. More likely, if Democrats’ high inflation sticks around, the President’s proposal would actually cut the military’s purchasing power. … The Administration’s proposed defense increase of 4% before inflation doesn’t come anywhere near meeting our military’s requirements to compete with China and preserve peace into the future.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 4/07/2022)

March 29: LEADER McCONNELL: “Nothing sums up your priorities like laying out a budget which indicates what you would do if you could. And the President's budget has a 14 percent increase on the domestic side. It unrealistically assumes inflation at 2.8 percent this week and basically would fund defense at less than inflation. Completely and totally unrealistic at a time of big power competition with Russia and China and in the middle of the Ukraine war. Hopefully on a bipartisan basis, the Congress will have an entirely different set of priorities.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Conference, 3/29/2022)

March 28: LEADER McCONNELL: “First and foremost, at a dangerous time, the President’s budget falls woefully short on defense funding. Our Commander-in-Chief has again failed to budget for the resources that our Armed Forces need. The Biden Administration proposes a nominal 4% increase for defense over the bipartisan bill Congress just passed for this year. That’s a nominal 4% increase before any of Democrats’ historic inflation is taken into account. And inflation right now is about twice that. Even if you accept the White House’s rosiest predictions about where inflation is heading, this would amount to flat-funding defense, with none of the robust growth we need to keep pace with Russia and China. Even in the best-case scenario for their budget, it would leave our Armed Forces just treading water. And what if Democrats’ historic inflation does not plummet downwards as quickly as they would like? What if the inflation they’ve caused keeps sticking around? Then President Biden’s budget would actually cut funding for our Armed Forces in real dollars.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 3/28/2022)


Policy: Domestic Spending Must Not Increase Beyond The President’s Budget Request

December 12: LEADER McCONNELL: “Both sides know what it would take for the Senate to pass a full-year government funding bill into law. There is no mystery here. A funding agreement would need to fully fund our national defense at the level written into the NDAA, without lavishing extra funding beyond what President Biden even requested onto Democrats’ partisan domestic priorities. Our Democratic colleagues have already spent two years massively increasing domestic spending, using party-line reconciliation bills outside the normal appropriations process. So clearly, our colleagues cannot now demand even more domestic spending than President Biden even requested in exchange for funding the United States military.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/12/2022)


Policy: Far-Left Demands To Jettison Longstanding Policy Riders Must Be Rejected

December 14: LEADER McCONNELL: “As Senator Shelby stated last night, this framework agreement doesn’t mean the hard work is over; it means the hard work can finally start. It will take seriousness and good faith on both sides to produce actual legislation that follows this framework. Poison pills, especially far-left demands to overturn longstanding and commonsense policy riders, will need to stay far away from this process.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/14/2022)

September 27: LEADER McCONNELL: “As I have said for weeks, there has been a clear and simple path to fund the government: A clean continuing resolution negotiated by Senators Shelby and Leahy, without any extraneous partisan language jammed in. I am glad that Leader Schumer and Senator Manchin abandoned their attempt to jam in a phony, partisan fig leaf on ‘permitting reform’ and I look forward to a bipartisan funding bill coming to the floor.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 9/27/2022)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “Last night, our Democratic colleagues released a draft short-term government funding bill. Big parts of the draft are unobjectionable. Because they were negotiated across party lines. … But unfortunately, our Democratic colleagues decided to put in extraneous partisan language. A poison pill. This extraneous poison pill is not related to keeping government open. It was not negotiated across the aisle. In fact, both the Democratic Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Leahy, and the Republican Vice Chairman, Senator Shelby, have stated publicly that this poison pill should not be in their bill! The poison pill is a phony attempt to address the important topic of permitting reform.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 9/27/2022)



Related Issues: America's Military, National Security, Inflation, Appropriations