The conservative House Freedom Caucus took an official position Tuesday night opposing a bipartisan budget deal negotiated by the Trump administration and congressional leaders.
The band of roughly 30 hard-liners, which includes some of President Donald Trump’s top allies on Capitol Hill, cited fiscal concerns in a statement opposing the agreement. The deal would lift stiff budget caps and raise the debt ceiling for two years, raising federal spending by a total of $320 billion without being fully offset.
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“The House Freedom Caucus has grave concerns about this budget agreement and will oppose it on the House floor,” the group said. “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.”
“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,” the group added.
The Freedom Caucus’s opposition alone, however, is not enough to sink the sweeping budget accord. Congressional leaders in both parties have been working hard to sell their troops on the agreement, and have expressed confidence that the fiscal package will pass.
The House is expected to vote on the budget deal Thursday, with the hopes of sending it to Trump’s desk before the August recess.
“I believe it passes, yes,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters, adding that Trump would “definitely, 100 percent” sign it.
Still, some conservatives who were furious with the budget deal launched an 11th-hour bid on Monday to tank it, urging Trump to reject the agreement unless he wins new concessions.
And members of the Freedom Caucus aren’t the only ones with concerns inside the GOP conference.
Two members of House Republican leadership, Reps. Mark Walker of North Carolina and Paul Mitchell of Michigan, both said they were leaning against the fiscal deal.
“I’m somewhere between a ‘lean no’ and a ‘hell no,’” Mitchell told POLITICO.