Is the GOP’s latest spending compromise with Democrats a deal with the devil?
Former Congressman Jason Chaffetz took to Fox News on Sunday to deliver an aggressive rebuke of fellow Republicans for last week’s spending bill, which increased federal expenditures by $300 billion.
“They blew up — they put a torch to the mantle of fiscal discipline,” the former Utah representative told Chris Wallace. “That is long gone. You know, there’s been a lot of talk about a parade around here. They should be doing a parade for Chuck Schumer because he took them to the cleaners.
“I mean he really did. Listen, he got every spending priority that he wanted. Nothing was cut. They took reconciliation, the most powerful tool that the Republicans had, off the table,” he added.
The bipartisan legislation, worked out by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., raised the government debt ceiling and allocated $160 billion to the military, $128 billion for domestic expenditure, and $80 billion for disaster relief.
“And it’s just unbelievable to me that we were spending this much money. Nobody campaigned on that. And there is going to be a political price taken, particularly in the primaries.”
When Wallace asked why Republicans did it, the former lawmaker responded:
“Look at the trajectory over the last few days. It just happened in a couple of days. I mean, at least Rand Paul was trying to have at least a little bit of a semblance of a debate on one of the most massive things that the Congress does in this spending. It’s absolutely unbelievable to me.
“I just, I can’t even fathom the idea that–if we had gone into the election saying ‘we’re gonna raise spending and we’re gonna go back to trillion-dollar deficits,’ none of these Republicans would have gotten elected. We love our military, but we’re in the majority in the House, the Senate, and we have the presidency. And we have this kind of deficit. It’s unbelievable.”
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s Thursday refusal to support the measure caused the Senate to vote on the spending bill in the early hours of the morning on Friday–provoking a brief government shutdown.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, co-founder of the House’s Freedom Caucus, also criticized the legislation.
.@Jim_Jordan on spending bill: “This was not consistent with what the American people elected us to do, not consistent with what we told them we were gonna do.” #FoxNewsSunday pic.twitter.com/pm3Ub0SNiS
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 11, 2018
“This was not consistent with what the American people elected us to do, not consistent with what we told them we were gonna do,” Jordan said of the bill.
Did Republicans drop the ball?