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Democrats unveil doomed funding bills ahead of December shutdown cliff

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Congress hits the next shutdown deadline in six weeks, and another funding punt is already fated unless Democrats stop shunning the edgy debate over boosting military spending.

Senate Democrats released their full array of spending bills Monday afternoon to fund the government at fresh levels for the fiscal year that started this month, proposing a 5 percent hike for the military and a 13 percent increase for non-defense programs over the previous year. But those bills, totaling about $1.5 trillion, are already toast in the upper chamber, where Republican lawmakers are once again demanding that Pentagon funding and non-defense cash be boosted by the same amount.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the Senate’s top GOP appropriator, said the bills “fail to give equal consideration to our nation’s defense” and contain a litany of other issues that tank any chance of Republican support.

President Joe Biden and top Democrats on Capitol Hill have yet to start brokering a bipartisan deal on the two main buckets of government funding. Tabling that tricky “topline” conversation avoids more strife within the Democratic caucus as the party separately battles over the cost of Biden’s multitrillion-dollar policy ambitions. As long as the........

© Politico

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