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Budget Reveals Conservatives’ Distrust of Leaders

Douglas Graham/Roll Call
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s financial blueprint will likely pass the House this week.

“I think they’ve seen how that played out. ... We didn’t cut trillions,” King said. “And the promise that the House made, from the House to the House, held until we had the debt ceiling vote. And that broke faith with the Ryan budget, so now the budget is not seen, especially by the freshman class, as being as big a deal as it was the year before.”

Mulvaney said he will vote for the budget on the floor. But he acknowledged the pushback comes from frustration with leadership about the BCA, which he voted against.

He singled out the sequester, which mandated a $110 billion cut in fiscal 2013. Ryan’s budget rolls back the cut to about $18 billion in fiscal 2013.

“What we’re saying is, ‘Wait, what you’re telling us now is you — leadership — voted for [$1.047 trillion], and then you — leadership — voted to take $110 billion away from that, and now those things are the law and now you want us to vote on a budget that ignores the law that you passed over our objections?’” Mulvaney said. “I think that violated a lot of our sensibilities.”

Budget Committee freshman Rep. Todd Rokita agreed last week, saying he voted for the budget in committee but might not on the floor.

“I’m committed to at least voting on it in committee so this can be debated more fully on the floor,” the Indiana Republican said.

Rep. Paul Broun said he is considering voting “no” this week. The BCA is a concern, he said, but there’s also another factor: The country is deeper in debt than it was last year, and Ryan’s plan does not bring balance to the budget fast enough.

“The reason I voted for the Ryan budget last year was it was the first time we have been able to put something in place that starts dealing with the biggest economic issues that we face, the entitlement programs,” the Georgia Republican said. “We’ve gotten deeper in debt. ... Balancing in 28 years is not quick enough, in my opinion, to ward off an economic collapse.”

Rep. Trent Franks, who said he will vote for the budget, echoed that concern.

“There’s a growing alarm in the Conference related to the nation’s future economic security, so there’s probably even more pressure on the part of conservatives to have even more dramatic impact,” the Arizona Republican said.

Boehner downplayed the resistance, holding that unlike the Senate, at least the House is passing a budget.

“When people get critical about, ‘Oh, well you only passed the budget out of committee by one vote,’ and, ‘Boy, are you going to get 218 votes when you bring it to the floor?’ We’re actually doing the real work that’s required to address our long-term problems. And I believe that we’ll be successful,” he said.

Ryan, along with Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), will hold another listening session to address Members’ concerns on Tuesday after the weekly Conference meeting.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz said he thinks the efforts will ultimately be successful. “I think when we can dive deeper into explaining what it does ... there will be a lot of enthusiasm,” the Utah Republican said.

Jessica Brady contributed to this report.


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