Latest News 30-11-2023 00:03 8 Views

GOP senators, House conservatives call for ‘fiscal sanity’ and stronger border security

GOP lawmakers in Congress held a press conference on Wednesday afternoon to urge the House and Senate to pass appropriations bills and a national security aid package that secure 'fiscal sanity' and tougher border security measures, such as higher asylum standards. 

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., led the press conference alongside members of the House Freedom Caucus and Sens. Mike Braun, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson and Roger Marshall. The lawmakers criticized the Biden administration's $106 billion supplemental request and demanded that several items — Ukraine, Israel and the southern border — be voted on as individual items. 

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., urged the separation of Israel, Ukraine and border security from one package to be voted on individually. 

'It doesn't matter what we pass here, in the way of legislation, even if it gets a signature, if we don't have a president and administration willing to enforce the law, and that's what we have right now,' Perry told reporters. 'So we need to see definable, verifiable certifiable believable metrics that show it's actually secure.'

He added: 'Otherwise, it's all just more failure theater up here. It's more failure theater, and we're done with the failure theater.'

Tensions are high as both chambers are expected to vote on an emergency supplemental bill as early as next week that the Biden administration requested in October. That package requested $61.4 billion for Ukraine, $14.3 billion for Israel (with $10.6 billion allocated for military aid), $13.6 billion for some border provisions like speeding up asylum processing, and significant investments in Indo-Pacific security assistance, totaling around $7.4 billion. Additionally, there's $9 billion earmarked for humanitarian aid in Ukraine, Israel and Gaza.

In January and February, Congress will also have to finalize an annual budget for the government. House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., suggested creating two separate deadlines for funding different parts of the government in an effort to prevent Congress from lumping all 12 spending bills into a massive 'omnibus' package.

Bills concerning military construction and Veterans Affairs; Agriculture; Energy and Water; Transportation and Housing and Urban Development must be worked out by Jan. 19 while the remaining eight appropriations bills must be decided upon by Feb. 2.

During Wednesday's press conference, House members indicated they'd be willing to accept a $1.59 trillion topline budget with no-add ons, up from the $1.47 trillion figure they previously asked for.

'$1.59 is too expensive for many of us, but we realize $1.47 is not going to happen,' Perry said. 

'For years, too many in Congress – and I’m talking about both parties and Republican leadership – have just accepted the status quo with CR’s [Continuing Resolutions] or stood idly by as Democrats shoved through massive spending package after massive spending package with no consideration of the consequences. We can’t squander it,' Scott's office told Fox News Digital prior to the press conference.

'I’ve had enough. Families have had enough. When I talk to Florida families, and hear how Biden’s inflation crisis is affecting them, they need us to fix this ASAP. So now Republicans in the Senate need to stand with our colleagues in the House as they force the return of fiscal sanity in Washington by passing spending bills that get us on the path to a balanced budget, so we can get our country back on track.'

Fox News' Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report. 

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