House Speaker Paul Ryan held a meeting a with members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus Tuesday in an attempt to persuade them to vote for his 2017 budget plan, but judging from one member’s response, Ryan’s efforts were not very successful.
“There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that I’ll vote for that,” caucus member Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said. At least two other caucus members described the meeting as “intense,” the Huffington Post reported.
Ryan reportedly met with a group of about 25 members of the conservative caucus in the speaker’s office over beer, chips, soda and “all the normal kinds of bagged munchies that you’re not supposed to eat.” The newly elected GOP leader told the members that if they want to pass appropriations bills this year, then they have to accept next year’s proposed spending plan.
But Brooks said that’s not going to happen because the plan isn’t “fiscally responsible” enough.
“What we’re doing is like getting a squirt bottle and thinking that’s going to stop the Titanic from sinking,” Brooks said after listening to Ryan make his case.
Congress voted in October to raise the 2017 debt ceiling by $30 billion. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, meanwhile, predicts that annual spending will be about $1.4 trillion more than annual revenue by 2026.
The House Freedom Caucus has yet to take an official position on Ryan’s proposed 2017 budget, although some of its members have signed onto another bill that calls for balancing the federal budget in the next 10 years.
Tuesday’s meeting came as the national debt surpassed $19 trillion Monday for the first time in the nation’s history.
(H/T: Huffington Post)