Dr. Mark Harris, the pro-Trump conservative populist who defeated incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) in the GOP primary in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District on Tuesday, told host Matt Boyle, Washington political editor for Breitbart News, on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Saturday that his opponent’s yes vote on the $1.3 Omnibus spending bill “was a real turning point in our race.”
“There was a lot of frustration and a lot of anger on the part of conservatives who went to the polls and made that clear. Just working the polls, we heard that time and again,” Harris, who defeated Pittenger by a 48 percent to 46 percent margin, told Boyle.
You can listen to the complete interview here:
“The way we’ve got to begin to correct this situation is to simply get back to the Constitution,” Harris told Boyle.
“The Constitution lays out for us that there needs to be appropriation bills, they need to be passed in a timely manner, they need to be sent over to the Senate. Let the Senate deal with them, if we end up in a conference committee, and ultimately pass them on to the president,” he said.
“The problem is the House has just sort of rolled over, it seems no longer follows the process of doing bills and letting them stand on their own merit, ” Harris continued.
“There should have been an Strategic Defense Initiative spending bill,” he noted.
“I think we’ve just got to get back to the way things are supposed to operate,” Harris added.
“You’re intending to join the Freedom Caucus if you are elected in November?” Boyle asked.
Harris confirmed that, if elected, he plans to join the Freedom Caucus, which is a group of the most fiscally conservative members of the House of Representatives, and is currently headed by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).
One of its most outspoken members is Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA), the outspoken former college professor who won a stunning upset victory in the 2014 Republican primary against then Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Brat has been a vocal proponent of the return to “regular order” in the budgeting process.
“I think they take very seriously the fiscal responsibility that we have,” Harris said.
“I think the people, the voters, the general public – they’re looking for transparency,” he added.
“Lawmakers released the $1.3 trillion, 2,232-page omnibus spending bill on Wednesday night, which Congress has to pass by midnight Friday to avert a government shutdown,” Breitbart News reported on the bill in March, just days before it was passed and signed into law:
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on Wednesday night, “Every bill takes compromise, and there was plenty here, but at the end of the day we Democrats feel very good because so many of our priorities for the middle class were included.”
The budget shocked conservatives, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), as it flies past the spending limits set by the Budget Control Act of 2011.
Pittenger was one of the Republican members of Congress who voted yes on the bill.
When the bill arrived on President Trump’s desk for signature, he delivered a blistering critique to Congress on the way in which the bill had been developed and sent to him.
“As a matter of national security, I’ve signed this omnibus budget bill,” Trump said when he signed the bill into law on March 23.
“There are a lot of things I’m unhappy about in this bill. I say to Congress: I will never sign another bill like this again,” the president vowed.
Host Boyle then asked Harris about President Trump’s proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico.
“One of the other major issues is the question of whether or not we’re going to have a border wall. The Omnibus spending bill funded everything but the border wall. How important is the border wall,” Boyle asked.
Harris told Boyle that building the border wall President Trump promised on the campaign trail in 2016 “is critically important on so many fronts.”
“To deny that is to deny the facts,” Harris said.
“Where the wall has been built, the number of illegal immigrants coming across, it drops to almost nil,” he elaborated.
“I think it’s critically important [to build the border wall], and I want to go fight for it,” Harris concluded.