McConnell blames dysfunction on Dems

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blamed Democrats Thursday for Congress’s dysfunctional appropriations process.

He accused the minority party of having “balled up” spending bills with filibusters.

“The one area of dysfunction is clearly attributable to the minority,” McConnell said at a press conference closing up business for the Senate before Election Day.

“It was obvious to me they did not want to have a normal appropriations process. It’s pretty darn clear,” he said, noting he set aside six weeks on the calendar to move spending bills but made little progress.

“They had an obvious desire to ball up the appropriations process and put us in a CR/omnibus situation,” he said, referring to the continuing resolution Congress passed on Wednesday to keep the government funded through Dec. 9.

Congress will return for a lame-duck session after the election to figure out how to keep the government open.

None of the regular appropriations bills funding government for fiscal 2017 has been signed into law.

McConnell expressed hope that some of them might be packaged into multiple “mini-buses” in the lame-duck session to avoid having to pass a massive, year-end omnibus spending bill, as has become regular practice in recent years.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has also called for the passage of mini-buses, which would each include several appropriations bills, as the best way to avoid year-end talks with President Obama on a spending bill exceeding $1 trillion.

Overall, McConnell hailed the 114th Congress as a success under Republican leadership in both chambers. It was the first time since 2006, Republicans controlled the Senate.


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