GOP lawmaker traveling with Trump 'gasped' when he heard fiscal deal

GOP lawmaker traveling with Trump 'gasped' when he heard fiscal deal
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ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE — A Republican member of Congress traveling with President Trump Wednesday said he “gasped” when he heard the fiscal deal he struck with Democrats. 
 
“I will tell you that I gasped when I heard it,” Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) told reporters on the presidential aircraft.
 
Cramer said he sought clarification from Trump’s aides that the deal involved raising the debt ceiling, averting a government shutdown and approving disaster relief aid for areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.  
 
“When we received that confirmation, I said, ‘Wow.’ ” he continued. “I was at a dinner last night where that was not in anybody’s dream.”
 
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The North Dakota lawmaker said the deal is “going to be a tough sell in our conference, there is no question about it.”
 
Cramer’s comments highlight the concern among Republican rank-and-file members about the fiscal package, which Trump announced after meeting with congressional leaders from both parties at the White House. 
 
The timing of his remarks was striking, making them just hours after he appeared on stage with the president in his home state for a speech on tax reform. 
 
While the congressman said he was "surprised" by the deal, he offered cover for the president, saying he trusts his "negotiating ability."
 
“The goal and the strategy of clearing the deck, providing three months of working time to create momentum for tax reform and perhaps to continue the momentum that we started, is appropriate," he said. “I think as Republicans hear more about it, hopefully they’ll warm up to the idea of the three months."
 
 
Conservative Republicans expressed dismay that the deal contained no significant reforms to federal spending and debt. 
 
Cramer said he hoped those priorities would be included when the issues come back up in December. 
 
“None of us looks forward to multiple votes on the debt-ceiling increase, so I hope over these next three months that we can get some assurances from the Speaker and our leadership ... we are going get a deal with a bigger appropriations package and a longer-term debt ceiling increase that includes some spending reforms," he said.