House Democrats scrapped plans Tuesday for an expected vote to set this year’s spending after caucus progressives objected to top-line numbers and made demands for more non-defense spending, The Hill reported.
The bill would have increased 2020 defense spending by $17 billion and non-defense spending by $34 billion, bringing the totals to $664 billion for defense and $631 billion for non-defense spending.
“I don’t think we’d have the votes if we went to the floor right now,” Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said. “It’s not going to happen.”
House progressives were pushing an amendment to raise non-defense spending by an additional $33 billion, intending to keep pace with defense spending levels.
However, the plan to vote on spending levels was cancelled after it became clear progressives would not support the bill without the non-defense spending amendment.
“If we can’t get full parity then we don’t need a budget cap vote,” said Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
The more moderate Blue Dog Democrats also applied pressure, raising alarms about increased overall spending.
“Blue Dogs have long been committed to fiscal responsibility at a time when we are $22 trillion in debt, in large part [because] of the profligacy of the Republicans and their irresponsible tax bill,” Blue Dog Co-Chair Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) said. “Somebody needs to be the adult in the room.”
Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Eric Miller/ New York Air National Guard