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McConnell: Omnibus Bill Avoids Year-End Cliffhanger, But It's "Not The Way To Do Business"

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Members of Kentucky’s congressional delegation are hailing the passage of a massive bipartisan $1.1 trillion dollar spending package funding the federal government through next September, but Republican leaders are decrying the process that led to the agreement.

In a press release, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell touted provisions tucked into the bill that he says will benefit Kentucky – including $200 million for cleanup at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, $10 million for broadband development in Central Appalachia, and the permanent extension of tax credits for Kentucky businesses and farmers. But the senator cautioned that piling everything into one bill was a mistake.

"I think one of the things the American people really wanted the most in last year's election was for the Congress to get back to work, to end the dysfunction, to do at least the basic work of government," he told reporters. "This big bill we passed was a trillion and 100 billion dollars in one bill. That's not the way to do business and so we're going to try our best not to end up in that situation again."

Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers echoed McConnell’s concerns.

"We're supposed to pass 12 separate bills, bring them to the floor separately, and then conference with the Senate separately," he argued.

Rogers said that didn’t happen because the Senate refused to allow any House-passed spending bills to be brought to the chamber floor.

Among the policy provisions included in the omnibus package were measures ending a four-decade-long ban on oil exports and targeting a program that allowed some foreigners to visit the country without a visa. Absent from the bill were any measures restricting the Syrian refugee program or defunding Planned Parenthood.

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