Offbeat GOP senators introduce Trump's plan to claw back $15 billion in spending

02:08  26 may  2018
02:08  26 may  2018 Source:   thehill.com

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The administration is requesting Congress approve a package to claw back $ 15 .4 billion in spending from previously approved funds. Yet other key senators —including GOP Sen . Richard Shelby Richard Craig Shelby Frustrated Trump wants action on border wall, immigration Senate GOP weighs

Senate Republicans have expressed skepticism about Trump ’ s idea since he first floated it during The GOP leader warned that passing a privileged resolution to cut domestic nondefense spending The omnibus increased discretionary spending by nearly 0 billion over fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

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A group of Senate conservatives are pushing forward with President Trump's plan to claw back more than $15 billion in spending despite concerns from several of their Republican colleagues.

Ten GOP senators announced Friday that they had introduced the rescissions package, saying they were rolling out the legislation to help ensure it reaches the Senate floor within the 45-day window to avoid a Democratic filibuster.

GOP Sens. Mike Lee (Utah), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), David Perdue (Ga.), John Kennedy (La.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Ben Sasse (Neb.) all introduced the legislation.

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Sens . Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), and six of their Senate colleagues introduced President Donald Trump ’ s rescission package on Thursday to slash $ 15 billion in wasteful government funding. The eight Republican senators introduced the Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is also supporting the bill, according to his office.

"Yes, a $15 billion spending reduction is a drop in the bucket compared to a $15 trillion debt," Lee said in a statement. "But we have to start cutting spending somewhere.

Kennedy added that "Washington has long been spending tax dollars like a bunch of drunken sailors."

Notably absent from the bill's list of cosponsors are members of Senate leadership or Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Conservatives seized on the dynamic Friday afternoon, with FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon saying the absence of GOP leaders "speaks volumes."

"Clearly, Senate rank and file are the ones concerned with reckless spending. If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not going to take up the White House's proposal to impound unobligated funds, it is good to that know we have Sens. Lee, Paul, and others to stick up for American taxpayers," he added in a statement.

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Senate Republicans Push Back on Trump ’ s Plan to Cancel Spending . Collins and Murkowski are famously independent senators ; they did, after all, join with John McCain to stop the GOP ’s best shot at an Obamacare repeal last year.

The spending claw - back has been floated in response to dismay from the GOP base over the size of the omnibus, which passed the House less than 24 hours after it We’ll soon see if their word is any good,” said a senior Senate Democratic aide. Not all Senate Republicans are leery of Trump ' s plan .

The Trump administration submitted a request to Congress on May 8 to claw back $15.4 billion in spending from previously approved funds. Lawmakers have 45 days to approve the measure if they want to avoid the 60-vote Senate filibuster.

Senate GOP leadership has kept the door open to considering the legislation if it can pass the House.

"My understanding of the rescission package is that it does not breach the bipartisan agreement we reached in the caps deal. If the House is able to pass the rescissions package, we'll take a look at it," Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters recently.

But Republicans could struggle to get 50 votes for the legislation without help from Democrats, who have balked because the package targets funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as well as funds designated for the 2015 Ebola outbreak.

Several GOP senators, including Shelby, Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), have voiced concerns about parts of the bill.

Shelby suggested earlier this month that the package "could take funds away from a lot of us in the South, on transportation. And that's not going to be a very popular thing."

Murkowski said late last week that she had talked with White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney. Trump's budget director was open to making changes to address some of her concerns, she said.

"[But] a lot of it has to do just with the fact that we have directed that spending and rescissions effectively take that away from us as the Congress," Murkowski had said.

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