Feb. 11, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Conservatives Surprise on CR

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Conservatives also considered the continuing resolution fight in the context of the lame-duck session, when Congress will look to address a number of big-ticket items, such as the sequester and the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.

“A funding fight at that time would have added fuel to the fire during a session of Congress where lawmakers whom the American people voted out of office could push for tax increases, continued out-of-control spending and a continuation of harmful policies that breed dependency on government,” Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action for America, said in a statement supporting the CR deal.

The deal struck during the debt ceiling standoff has also not worn well over time. After the super committee failed to strike a deal and as steep cuts from sequestration get closer, many Republicans have expressed their displeasure, in retrospect, with the terms of the deal.

The thinking goes that with government funding off the table, the lame duck will be a game of chicken over who is willing to let taxes go up and/or see defense and domestic spending programs cut in order to make their broader ideological points about the nation’s fiscal policy.

DeMint and others did offer a word of caution heading into the recess that their support was contingent on terms announced by Reid — a “clean” CR without extraneous legislation tacked on.

Conservatives are concerned that as the actual legislation is crafted in August, it could become a tempting vehicle for additional bills to be added, something that would scuttle their support.

The vote will be delayed until after recess to allow time for it to be drafted and evaluated.

Aides said the Congressional Budget Office will need time to score the proposal. In addition, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget will need to provide Appropriations Committee staffers with lists of changes from the current spending levels — called “anomalies” — for inclusion in the measure.

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