Congress

The Freedom Caucus Votes to Oppose GOP Leadership On Spending

The House Freedom Caucus has voted among their ranks to formally oppose the budget that's currently being floated by House Republican leadership.

As you might have guessed, the Freedom Caucus is not happy with the budget because it doesn't recklessly cut spending to an acceptable degree.

"The Freedom Caucus is officially a no," said Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador. "We've been talking to leadership for several weeks, giving them the opportunity to make some good pitches to us, and so far everything we have heard has been less than stellar." [...]

"We want to help with the process, we want to have a budget [but] we want to have a budget that complies with what we promised the American people," Labrador said. "The budget right now ... does not take take into reality how the American people feel."

The idea that the American people are clamoring for budget cuts is even more funnier if you consider that the Freedom Caucus is pushing for just $30 billion more in cuts. $30 billion is a lot of money but it's practically insignificant relative to the entire budget of over $1 trillion.

The opposition of the Freedom Caucus is significant because this alone means House Republican leadership will require Democratic votes to pass spending bills. The Freedom Caucus has over 40 members and House leadership can only afford to lose a couple dozen Republicans votes before they must turn to Democrats for a majority vote.

In other words, Paul Ryan has officially become John Boehner. Ryan and other House leaders will either bow to conservative demands and pass a budget that goes too far for the president to sign, or they will enlist the aid of Democrats to pass a budget the president will sign. The third and more plausible course of action is passing a short-term funding measure that carries the government through the November election and the new year. In any event, they will hate Ryan for it.

  • muselet

    Charlie Pierce rightly points out that the one big reason why Paul Ryan can’t bring himself to oppose the Freedom Caucus is that what they are proposing echoes what Ryan himself has championed:

    So, basically, what we’re seeing is the House Freedom Caucus putting Paul Ryan in the position of rebelling against himself. And, for a guy who’s plainly positioning himself as the Sensible Alternative, if the party crashes and burns this fall, that’s a tough position to be in. Which is not to say it’s not damned fun to watch, because it is.

    Nothing to add.

    –alopecia