The House Freedom Caucus had sharp words for the White House’s rejection of its budget proposal on Monday, underscoring that hardline conservatives in the House are entirely at odds with President Joe Biden on spending plans ahead of the looming debt ceiling battle.
“It’s only a five-alarm fire for President Biden and his wasteful, woke, and weaponized federal bureaucracy,” the caucus said in a statement Monday after the administration introduced a brutal five-point rebuke of the caucus’s spending proposal, calling it a “five-alarm fire.”
The caucus added, “For the rest of America, it’s a win. The House Freedom Caucus is going to #ShrinkDCGrowAmerica.”
It’s only a five-alarm fire for President Biden and his wasteful, woke, and weaponized federal bureaucracy.
For the rest of America, it’s a win.
The House Freedom Caucus is going to #ShrinkDCGrowAmerica. https://t.co/X3lEWvOlqS
— House Freedom Caucus (@freedomcaucus) March 21, 2023
The White House on Monday highlighted five key issues it had with the caucus’s aggressive plans to cut spending, saying in a press statement:
Combined with other commitments extreme MAGA House Republicans have already made, the extreme Freedom Caucus proposal will be a disaster for families in at least five key ways: endangering public safety, raising costs for families, shipping manufacturing jobs overseas and undermining American workers, weakening national security, and hurting seniors.
The White House zeroed in on public safety in particular, contending that the proposed spending cuts would eliminate funding for thousands of border officials and FBI agents, effectively “defund the police,” and negatively impact air and rail safety.
Freedom Caucus chair Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) called the White House claims “fear and smear,” while caucus member Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) celebrated that Biden had “awakened to find the border, thx to the @freedomcaucus pushing common sense border security & fiscal restraint.”
This White House has done more to endanger our law enforcement and the American People than any in history. Fear and smear isn’t a pillar of policy — it’s propaganda.
— RepScottPerry (@RepScottPerry) March 20, 2023
Another caucus member, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), said every criticism the White House made about the budget plan was “baseless and laughable. Bottom line: We need to spend less—not more.”
The White House is starting to sweat over our economic plan.
Every claim made in this "critique plan" is baseless and laughable.
Bottom line: We need to spend less—not more. https://t.co/iYyzN4LULN
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) March 20, 2023
This month, the Freedom Caucus outlined an ambitious spending plan that the caucus said it would need fulfilled for it to “consider” voting to raise the debt ceiling, which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the nation could reach as early as the summer.
The plan included:
- Ending Biden’s “$400 billion student loan bailout”
- Rescinding unspent funds allocated toward COVID-19
- Rescinding the already-approved $80 billion to expand the IRS
- Rescinding the “billions of wasteful climate change spending” approved through the “Inflation Reduction Act”
- Capping discretionary spending at fiscal year 2022 levels for the next ten years, allowing for one percent annual growth
The measures provided the first glimpse at proposals that could come out of the House Republican Conference as GOP leaders seek to negotiate with Biden to cut spending in exchange for raising the debt limit.
“This is our plan,” Perry said when the caucus introduced it. “If somebody else wants to bring something else, we’re willing to look at it, but I will tell you, the plan that President Biden showed to the American people? That is not happening.”
Biden had just one day earlier introduced his administration’s budget proposal, which included tax hikes and spending increases, which House Republicans have already signaled they will reject.
The administration is now punching back at Republicans by way of the Freedom Caucus’s plan and will use each day this week to detail its five arguments against the plan, as reported by Axios.
Write to Ashley Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.
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