Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chair of the House Freedom Caucus. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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'All sides should go back to the drawing board'
The House Freedom Caucus announced its opposition to a bipartisan two-year budget agreement reached by President Donald Trump and congressional leaders that increases spending by more than $300 billion.
What's the news?
Both sides need to continue negotiations and work toward a deal that does not add more debt, the Freedom Caucus said in a statement. Here's more:
"Our country is undeniably headed down a path of fiscal insolvency and rapidly approaching $23 trillion in debt. This is completely unsustainable, and we owe taxpayers and future generations better. We should be working together on a bipartisan basis to cut spending and balance our budget—or, at bare minimum, holding to the existing spending caps to prevent a significant problem from becoming even worse. All sides should go back to the drawing board and work around the clock, canceling recess if necessary, on a responsible budget agreement that serves American taxpayers better—not a $323 billion spending frenzy with no serious offsets."
Because the president supports the deal, and it should have enough support to pass the House without the Freedom Caucus, there will not likely be any further work done on this deal.
"I am pleased to announce that a deal has been struck with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — on a two-year Budget and Debt Ceiling, with no poison pills," Trump tweeted Monday. "This was a real compromise to give another big victory to our Great Military and Vets!"
Why does it matter?
Although the statement from the Freedom Caucus was not a surprise, it is still meaningful that some in the GOP are still sounding the alarm about already out-of-control spending that is only getting worse.
Every time a deal goes through in which many or most Republicans don't even go through the motions of caring about fiscal responsibility, the less credibility the party has when we oppose the outrageous costs of Democratic proposals like Medicare for All or the Green New Deal.
If we send the message now that money is no object, it won't work out well if we suddenly change our tune for a Democratic president or Senate. So although statements like this one from the Freedom Caucus might seem futile, it's still important that the message of fiscal responsibility be heard in our government.
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