The House Freedom Caucus has officially surrendered to big government by refusing to stand up against a huge debt-ceiling increase wrapped in the two-year budget deal.
The deal was secretly negotiated by outgoing House Speaker John Boehner, plus Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid plus President Barack Obama. It is set to be voted on in the House on Wednesday.
Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House taxation committee and the man tapped by Boehner to become the next Speaker, could stop the deal, but instead is just complaining that the process “stinks.”
As the Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza laid out, Ryan and Boehner together on this “are pulling the oldest trick in the book: The good cop/bad cop routine.”
Still, the huge deal could die If Ryan said he wanted to write his own deal as Speaker, or if he called for the vote to be delayed so Boehner could keep his promise in his “Pledge to America” that legislation would be voted on only after it has been published three full days or 72 hours.
Ryan has the political clout — he’s set to ascend to the Speakership in a Thursday floor-vote, if he keeps together enough House Republicans to get to 218 votes.
But Ryan is tacitly allowing Boehner’s big-government package through—and most members of the House Freedom Caucus are letting him to do it.
“He shares the frustration that we do and he wants to do better and be different,” Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), a founding member of the Freedom Caucus, said of Ryan. “I think we have to take him at his word and he is being sincere,” Labrador told Politico.
“We need to give him a chance to show what kind of a leader he will be, if he is lucky enough to be elected speaker. It’s not his [budget] deal, but I do think he needs to be vocal about how he would have done it differently,” said Labrador.
Labrador is directly at odds with the GOP presidential candidate that he endorsed in the 2016 primary, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
Paul told Breitbart News earlier on Tuesday that he believes all the House Freedom Caucus members who have supported Ryan’s speakership should consider withdrawing their support if Ryan doesn’t join the Senator’s efforts to kill the bill.
Labrador’s spokesman Dan Popkey hasn’t responded to a request for comment from Breitbart News.
But late on Tuesday, the Senator stepped up the pressure, by promising to filibuster the deal that Ryan is allowing to pass through House.
“I will do everything in my power to stop this steaming pile of legislation,” Paul told Breitbart News. In the Senate, “I will filibuster and I urge my colleagues to join my effort.”
If this deal does end up going through the House, there’s one person to blame — even if he personally votes no: Paul Ryan.
It’s much like how Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) described the many Republicans who were willing to let the Ryan-supported “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill to pass the Senate last Congress: They are hoping yes, but voting no.
Ryan is clearly in that camp. What is surprising, however, is that the people who could stop him from doing it—the House Freedom Caucus—have surrendered. They aren’t fighting back, even though their intervention could allow a proper debate on the huge spending bill. And that cuts against the group’s core principles.
No wonder why so many movement conservatives are discussing disbandment of the now-useless House Freedom Caucus and about replacing it with an effective alternative, such as the Conservative Opportunity Society (COS), which is led by Rep. Steve King (R-IA).