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GOP freshman: Faith in Boehner shaken after 2011 spending fight

A freshman House Republican says he has lost faith in John Boehner (R-Ohio) after the House Speaker’s agreement with Democrats on a 2011 spending measure.

Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) said House Republicans felt a great deal of “frustration” with Boehner over the agreement he negotiated with President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). It funds the government through the end of the fiscal year, while cutting nearly $40 billion in spending.

{mosads}”You know, I would say yes,” Tipton said on the syndicated “Cari and Rob” radio show when asked if his trust in Boehner had been shaken in the spending fight resolved last week in Congress, “but I will give him the caveat as I always give somebody an opportunity to explain.”

Tipton echoed frustration by other conservatives following confusion over Congressional Budget Office numbers that suggested the spending agreement cut much less in real terms from the budget than Boehner and congressional leaders had indicated. The agreement still cut less than the $100 billion this fiscal year favored by conservatives who said the party had promised such deep cuts in the party’s “Pledge to America” last fall.

“I’m not trying to stick up for him at all in this sense,” he said in the interview, which aired Thursday. “They are dealing with some different sides, but you get a sense of the politics as usual that are going on.”

In a sense, the frustration by conservatives is water under the bridge; Boehner and the GOP leadership team made an aggressive push to defend the deal, and successfully passed the legislation through the House last week despite the objections of Tipton and other House conservatives.

But the sense of an emerging rift between Boehner and the conservative freshman class, many of whom are allied with the Tea Party movement, has become a storyline that Democrats are anxious to exploit in their fight with House Republicans.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), for instance, has been consistent in demanding that Boehner divorce himself from the Tea Party in negotiations with Democrats, a drumbeat the New York Democrat has repeated ahead of an impending fight over raising the debt ceiling.

Updated, 2:21 p.m.: Tipton spokesman Joshua Green offered this clarification of the freshman Republican’s comments:

Congressman Tipton was disappointed in the dollar figure for the cuts to the FY2011 budget that was arrived at, and as such voted against it. He knows that Speaker Boehner got what he could at the time, but it wasn’t enough based on the input he was hearing from the people in the district. His comments are in reference to the amount of cuts to the 2011 budget and shouldn’t be read into as anything more. Congressman Tipton is confident in Speaker Boehner’s leadership and vision to cut spending, create jobs and get our country back on track.

This post was last updated at 2:21 p.m.

Tags Boehner Chuck Schumer Harry Reid John Boehner

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