Senate Minority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), number two in GOP Senate Leadership, has expressed disappointment with the budget deal House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) cut with Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).
“I am concerned about the proposal because it breaks the spending caps that were a part of the Budget Control Act, which is one of the main reasons why federal spending has actually gone down this year and last year as opposed to having a straight upward trajectory,” Cornyn said on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.
“All along, there was some discussion about providing flexibility to the Department of Defense to allow them to spend the money more efficiently and effectively. But the tradeoff was going to be to deal with entitlement reform and to shore up Medicare and Social Security. Neither one of those have happened,” Cornyn continued. “The spending caps look like they’re going to be modified and there’s no reform and shoring up of Medicare and Social Security. So I’m wondering where the beef is. There is additional fees which consumers are going to feel when they fly airplanes and other things. So there’s a bunch of money that’s raised but it’s for more spending. So I see this as heading in the wrong direction because I think one of the things, the most important things, to do here in Washington is to rein in wasteful spending and to reform important safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security and this does none of that.”
Cornyn would not take a definitive stance on how he would vote yet, saying he is still reviewing the details of the deal. “It remains to be seen whether this will pass the House,” he said when asked if he would give a definitive yes or no on the plan. “They’ll vote on that tomorrow. But as you can tell I’m skeptical.”
Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the chairman of Senate GOP conference, expressed similar skepticism of the budget deal. “I appreciate the good faith effort put forth by House and Senate negotiators,” Thune said in a statement his office provided to Breitbart News. “I am still reviewing the details of the deal, but I have serious concerns about any agreement that breaks the budget caps set by the Budget Control Act without making meaningful spending reforms that address our debt and deficit. Irresponsible Washington spending and kicking the can down the road got us into this mess in the first place and we have a responsibility to address this crisis.”
In both of their statements, Thune and Cornyn made veiled references to an op-ed Ryan wrote for the Wall Street Journal earlier this fall in which he argued that any changes to the sequester’s spending caps would need to be offset by entitlement reform. The Ryan-Murray budget deal did not achieve any entitlement reforms in exchange for raising the sequester spending caps.