Politico reports that members of the supposedly anti-establishment House Freedom Caucus are offering excuses to shield House Speaker Paul Ryan from blame for his closed-door, budget-busting, welfare-extending, refugee-welcoming, illegal-immigrant-funding, job-outsourcing, regulation-preserving, $1.8 trillion spending-and-tax plan, which has thrilled Democrats and angered GOP voters.
The article is titled “Conservatives give Ryan a pass on budget deal they despise.”
“The end product here is just cleaning the barn; it’s a disaster,” [Virginia Rep. Dave] Brat said of the spending and tax deal. “We’re breaking our pledge on the budget caps to the American people, we’ve lost fiscal discipline, and we’re throwing it all on the next generation.”…
“It’s pretty bad,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Freedom Caucus chairman. “How can you not put the refugee issue in there? It makes so much sense. We were clear that if that goes in and [we get] something pretty good on the pro-life [provisions they wanted], we thought we could get a number of us [to vote in favor]. But that’s not going to happen.”…
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said… “there are about $1.3 trillion” other reasons to vote against the omnibus… “The [angry] calls are coming in about Syria. Calls are coming in about life issues. Calls are coming about everything else. Somebody on K Street wanted that, but Main Street didn’t.”
But the caucus members aren’t fighting, partly because Ryan is promising to listen to conservatives, and swearing he’ll do better next year.
“In terms of the process, I can tell you I’ve had more meaningful conversations with the speaker and leadership in the last couple of weeks than I think I have in the last couple of years,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who instigated the revolt against Speaker John Boehner that led to Boehner’s resignation this fall. “I would give it an A-plus in terms of trying to reach out to the rank and file.”
…Brat praised Ryan: “Not only is he saying the right things, he is lining it up to do the right things [in 2016] … and then leadership can’t hijack the budget at the end of the year and throw the kitchen sink, which we just did.”
“Paul made some pretty sustainable commitments about things we’ll do next year: a major overhaul of our tax system, welfare reform, replacing Obamacare,” [Arizona Rep. Matt] Salmon said. “These are major things. If we do those things and define clearly what we stand for, that’s the best we can hope for.”
Read it all here.