National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Rick Scott, R-Fla., doubts anyone will read the massive omnibus spending bill, which he said is three times longer than the Holy Bible.
Scott, who sits on the Budget Committee, said no lawmaker will be able to read the entire near-5,000-page, $1.7 trillion bill before it is up for a vote. Both Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. and Vice Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., support the bill, and are both leaving office at the end of the year.
On "The Story" Wednesday, Scott said he would rather see a short-term spending bill funding the government sometime into the first quarter of 2023, where Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., or whichever Republican attains the speakership, can allow their caucus a say in what the government spends going forward.
"Would you rather have Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer write this bill or would you rather have Kevin McCarthy write this bill and have it come out of the House?" he asked, pointing out the 7,500 earmarks that lawmakers have attached to the legislation.
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Scott said some of the earmarks will fund skateparks in Rhode Island and "dirt bike culture" in Baltimore, all of which will be bankrolled in part by borrowed money – which the Floridian said is sure to further spike inflation.
Addressing the Ukraine funding included in the bill, Scott said he supports providing aid and that he and other conservatives are instead concerned with seeing the receipts for that taxpayer money.
"I think it's in our national security interest to defeat Russia; to stop them. I'm very appreciative of everybody in Ukraine, what they've gone through. I don't want to be at war with Russia. None of us want to be," he said.
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"So I think we want to continue to help Ukraine, but we've got to make sure we know how the money is spent. It has to be very transparent. It's got to be for lethal aid to stop Putin."
In terms of the potential for a government shutdown if the bill – which currently enjoys bipartisan support – doesn't pass, Scott said Democrats will then be eager to use that development as a political cudgel ahead of Christmas.
"They want to cram things into something right before Christmas and say, 'oh, if you don't vote for this, you're going to shut down government right before Christmas, so you're Scrooge.'
"No, I'm responsible [for] mak[ing] sure the people of Florida are taken care of," Scott said.
In a separate response to the omnibus bill, more than a dozen Republican House members or members-elect issued a letter pledging to scuttle any legislation in the 2023 session from Republican senators who vote to pass the spending package.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry of Pennsylvania signed onto the letter, along with others including Rep. Chip Roy of Texas and Dan Bishop of North Carolina – the latter of whom has been tweeting sections of the omnibus bill's "the most egregious provisions."
McCarthy later echoed the planned tactic, saying when he is Speaker, such Republican senators' bills will be "dead-on-arrival in the House" if the bill is able to pass "over our objections and the will of the American people."