Republicans load up spending bill before Democrats take House control

As the clock ticks down in Congress, Republican lawmakers are racing to load up the end-of-year spending legislation with their own priorities, figuring this is their last chance to push their agenda while they control both chambers.

Numerous proposals including a farm bill, sanctions on Saudi Arabia, and a major prison and sentencing reform package are being eyed as add-ons to the spending bill, which will cover hundreds of billions of dollars of projects across dozens of departments and agencies.

Republican leaders, though, are trying to strip down the add-ons, fearing they would end up costing rather than building support.

“You don’t want to overload the truck,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard C. Shelby, Alabama Republican.

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