GOP Leaders Want Vote on National Security Appropriations Bills

Move suggests lack of support to pass full omnibus

Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., wanted the House to pass an omnibus spending bill before the August recess, but GOP leaders are pushing for a vote just on a package of national security-related appropriations bills. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

House GOP leaders on Tuesday announced a plan to have the chamber vote next week on a package of national security-related appropriations bills.

The announcement comes as a blow to several GOP lawmakers who had been pushing for the House to pass a 12-bill omnibus spending bill before the August recess.

That strategy, first pitched by Rep. Tom Graves, was designed to have House Republicans pass a spending plan full of GOP policy priorities that would serve as an opening bid for negotiations with the Senate.

Leadership’s decision to move a national security minibus rather than a full omnibus suggests they did not have enough support within the Republican conference to pass all 12 bills together.

The national security package, called the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, will include four of the 12 appropriations bills: Defense, Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction/Veterans’ Affairs.

“It is vital that we demonstrate our commitment to America’s men and women in uniform and uphold our Constitutional duty to provide for the common defense,” the scheduling announcement from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.

It was not immediately clear if or when leadership intends to try to move the other eight bills across the floor or how they would package them if they do.

Congress must pass all 12 bills in some combination before the end of the fiscal year September 30 or face the prospect of a continuing resolution to keep government funding on autopilot or worse a government shutdown. 

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