Romney backed omnibus bill because he doesn't trust House GOP to craft a budget

 December 24, 2022

Eighteen Republican senators joined with Democrats on Thursday to help pass a massive $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package.

One of them was Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who tweeted out a video in which he explained his reason for supporting the bill. Chief among them is that Romney doesn't trust House Republicans to pass a budget.

Romney: House GOP can't even choose a speaker

"House Republicans say that they want to craft a budget, but they haven’t yet been able to select a speaker," the Utah lawmaker declared. "

That was a reference to an ongoing split among members of the House GOP caucus over who they want to oversee the chamber.

While most Republicans want California Rep. Kevin McCarthy to become House speaker, others like Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz are holding out.

Gaetz complained in an op-ed piece published by the Daily Caller on December 21 that McCarthy is not "a real leader" and alleged that he "is so weak he’ll promise anything to anyone."

Meanwhile, Romney went on to insist in his video that he isn't sure his House colleagues "are going to be able to take on the budget for this year as well as the next year at the same time."

"Even if they could take on those two things at the same time, it would need Democrats in the Senate to pass it," Romney pointed out.

He also argued passing the bill "will cost less money than if we kick the can down the road until next year" while claiming that "if we don't pass this omnibus, we're going to see a deal that costs more money."

Sen. Mike Lee denounces bill as "extortion"

However, Romney's fellow Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee took a very different stance on the issue. In a speech from the Senate floor, Lee condemned the bill as an example of "extortion."

"This bill before us is legislative barbarism. This is an act of extortion being leveraged on the United States Senate right before Christmas," Lee insisted.

"This bill, in all 4,155 pages of its glory – or infamy – was negotiated in secret by four or five members of Congress," he continued. "They wrote it utterly in secret with the design of making an artificial emergency, threatening a shutdown right before Christmas."

The conservative Heritage Foundation issued a report last week noting that the bill is contains a hodgepodge of new spending initiatives. That includes earmarking millions for "LGBTQIA+" groups as well as antiracism training.

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