“Some veteran Republican House members are pushing back against conservative deficit hawks who are pushing for endlessly deep spending cuts, saying the right wing of the party is creating unnecessary divisions for the GOP majority…
“When Pence announced he would vote against the bill, McCarthy asked why he would vote for H.R. 1 but not the three-week measure under consideration. Pence said the nation is adding $2 billion in debt each day. But McCarthy pressed on — wanting to know how Pence was helping reduce the debt by voting against the bill.
“‘How much are you cutting?’ McCarthy asked Pence, according to sources inside the room…
“In fact, the idea that it’s not enough to slash $10 billion is ludicrous to some lawmakers — especially longer-serving Republicans. In private conversations around the Capitol, they are growing increasingly frustrated with the cavalcade of outside groups, talking heads and conservative lawmakers who seem to be driving the debate. Pairing with outside groups, such as Heritage Action, they’re providing the leadership with headaches.”
“Meanwhile, conservatives are basking in the success of peeling off 54 votes in a head-to-head battle against their party’s leadership. They also say the ‘no’ votes strengthen, rather than weaken, Boehner’s hand…
“One GOP aide unloaded on the conservatives, offering a more colorful view privately held by many other Republicans.
“‘These people aren’t thinking clearly. Their logic doesn’t pan out. They have NO plan. What concessions were they going to get if it failed? They were going to shut down the federal government over Planned Parenthood? the source said, ‘It was totally reactionary. These people got elected to lead. Instead they got jerked around by the political equivalent of music critics. If these people knew anything about governing, they’d be in Congress, not lobbing bombs from the cheap seats and sending out fundraising emails.’…
“The argument by conservatives that the vote strengthened Boehner’s hand is that now, Boehner can tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama — if Obama decides to show up for the debate — his caucus won’t tolerate another short-term spending bill. The move puts a firm deadline on the end-game in the negotiations, forcing Reid to act, the rationale goes.”
“Conservative Members who simply say what they individually won’t do (vote for the next CR), should explain what they want their party leaders to do in response. As an outside supporter of deep spending cuts, I care less about your individual vote than I do about the policy outcome. How will your threatened no vote lead to less government spending than the current strategy?…
“Instead of threatening to oppose the next CR no matter what, impatient fiscal conservatives should demand that their party leaders ratchet up the the spending cuts in the next CR. Spending cuttters, pull the Republican team in your direction. Demand $3B of spending cuts per week rather than $2B. If policy-specific funding limitations are a priority, choose one funding limitation and insist that it be included in the next CR. (I’d choose the EPA regs, which tend to unify Republicans and split Democrats.) Use House Republican control of the legislative text to put the President and Leader Reid in the position where they have to choose between a little more savings and shutting down the government. It’s hard for them to explain why $2B of savings per week is OK, but $3B per week is the end of the world. Use that to your advantage.
“For decades those who favor bigger government have succeeded incrementally, by patiently layering one new program on top of another, and by pocketing incremental spending increases that build up over time. Over the next six months spending cutters are now perfectly positioned to do this in reverse.”
“I would like to ask exactly whose side these Republicans are on.
“See, I’m on the side of smaller government and more freedom. These House Republicans seem to be in favor of smaller government in the abstract, just not in the real world.
“They’re attacking Heritage Action for America, Club for Growth, Family Research Council, Mike Pence, and any other conservatives who dare to actually make them live up to their own Pledge to Nowhere. We conservatives have a plan. We just want the House Republicans we elected to find their testicles and run the ball down the field.”
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