Ultraconservative groups are furious over the omnibus appropriations package that coasted through the Republican-led House on Wednesday. The bill, which would fund the government for the rest of the year, is expected to pass the Senate later this week, but conservatives are not done pushing back. They have put the Grand Old Party’s most vocal members on the defensive on budget issues, and they’re not mincing their words.
“I have often been proud to be a GOP-er, sometimes embarrassed, but never until today ashamed,” said influential conservative talk-show host Hugh Hewitt during a heated interview with House Budget Committe Chairman and usual conservative darling Paul Ryan this week. For Hewitt, the most offending part of the spending bill is a 1 percentage point cut to annual cost-of-living increases, which translates into a pension cut that would affect active-duty members.
“If you think that I wanted to do this or enjoy doing this, that’s not true,” Ryan told Hewitt of the budget cuts. “Had Mitt [Romney] and I won that election, this would not be required. This would not be necessary.” He added later, “Now do I want to do this? Did I think this was a great thing to do and what we needed to do? No, course not,” he went on. Ryan did, of course, vote for the bill.