As Congress prepares to pass a short-term continuing resolution, putting off a government shutdown for a few months, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Republicans Wednesday that they’ll have to negotiate with Democrats to roll back looming spending cuts later this year.
"We are inevitably going to end up in negotiations that will crack the Budget Control Act once again,” McConnell said during a press conference on Wednesday. “Now let me just say this about the Budget Control Act. Before we started revisiting it, it actually did a pretty good job. We reduced government spending for two years in a row for the first time since the Korean War. ... But there's a lot of pressure in Congress to spend more; the administration certainly wants to spend more.”
Passing a clean continuing resolution in the next few weeks, which McConnell again emphasized should not include measures favored by conservatives to end funding for Planned Parenthood, “will give time for us to engage with the administration in determining how much we're going to spend and where we're going to spend it” later this year, he said.
Though he called it "unfortunate," McConnell said his warning was born of practicality. Democrats blocked several spending measures earlier this year, telling Republicans that they would not pass any new funding bills unless the majority agreed to turn back sequestration cuts on nondefense programs. And, McConnell said, President Obama is “in a key position” to veto any new spending bills that allow sequestration cuts to go through as planned.