House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. has officially put Senate Republicans on notice — even though McCarthy has yet to clinch the designation of House speaker for the GOP-controlled Congress in January.
On Monday, McCarthy pledged to derail the Senate Republicans' 2023 agenda if they help the Senate Democrats pass an omnibus spending bill, promising it would be "dead on arrival" when getting to the House chamber.
The warning shot came via Twitter, when McCarthy replied to a tweet from Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, who wrote: "13 @HouseGOP to @SenateGOP: ' ... we are obliged to inform you that if any omnibus passes in the remaining days of this Congress, we will oppose and whip opposition to any legislative priority of those senators who vote for this bill — including the… leader.' #StandUpForAmerica"
McCarthy's response tweet: "Agreed. Except no need to whip — when I'm Speaker, their bills will be dead on arrival in the House if this nearly [$2 trillion] monstrosity is allowed to move forward over our objections and the will of the American people."
There have been Trump Republicans who've been calling on McCarthy to be more aggressive with America First policies and investigative hearings when the new Congress convenes on Jan. 3.
McCarthy's tough talk also sets the stage for a looming showdown between McCarthy — as the presumptive House speaker — and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who has been publicly stumping for a bipartisan spending bill.
Instead of a large-scale spending bill, McCarthy prefers a clean, short-term funding measure that avoids a government shutdown and could be renegotiated when the Republicans reclaim the House in two weeks.
McCarthy has another crucial fight on a separate front. He still hasn't secured the necessary votes to assume the speakership — with some reports claiming he's shy by a handful of votes.
Still, it seems likely that McCarthy will eventually become speaker, since no other candidate — Republican or Democrat — reportedly has anything close to McCarthy's support numbers.
In their Monday letter to the GOP senators, 13 House Republicans advised the group to "refrain from entertaining any spending bill that extends beyond the first few months" of the new year.
"We are obliged to inform you that if any omnibus passes in the remaining days of this Congress, we will oppose and whip opposition to any legislative priority of those senators who vote for this bill — including the Republican leader," the House GOP letter read.
The letter included the signatures of Roy and Reps. and Reps.-elect Dan Bishop, R-N.C., Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., Ralph Norman, R-S.C., Bob Good, R-Va., Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Scott Perry, R-Pa., Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Byron Donalds, R-Fla., Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., Eli Crane, R-Ariz., Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., and Andy Ogles, R-Tenn.
To avoid the government shutdown, the current Congress has until midnight Friday to approve a spending bill — an omnibus or stopgap measure.
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