The Senate this week plans to advance three annual spending bills, including agriculture, setting the stage for a spending showdown with the House amid a possible October first government shutdown.
Senate Democrats led by New York’s Chuck Schumer tried to ‘shame’ hardline House conservatives into submission, ahead of the latest shutdown showdown. He said, “Both sides work in good faith, embrace bipartisanship, as we do in the Senate, avoid all or nothing tactics, ‘my way or the highway’ tactics, then they’ll be no shutdown.”
Schumer accused some Republicans of wanting a shutdown. South Carolina’s Ralph Norman helped sideline the House USDA-FDA spending bill in the Rules Committee before the summer break. “We never, like most family business or most families, go through and say, ‘look, this is, the house is on fire, and I think we can do without this, do something to put the fire out.’”
Another Freedom Caucus hardliner is House Ag Appropriations Chair Andy Harris, “We simply cannot continue down this path of spending massive amounts of taxpayer dollars, without regard to the fiscal future of our nation.”
Harris wrote a $17.8 billion USDA-FDA bill, augmented by 7.5 billion in unused funds from the Biden climate/health-related Inflation Reduction Act. But a bipartisan Senate majority refuses to accept such tactics and the House GOP’s tightening of CCC spending controls and limits on mail-order mifepristone, the abortion drug.
Bottom-line: the Senate in a stronger political position, may try to ‘jam’ the House with ‘take it or leave it’ spending bills, including a stop-gap measure to keep the government open past September 30.