Conservatives erupt in outrage against budget deal

Conservatives are outraged about the $320 billion budget deal President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE announced Monday, and they are not holding back.

Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats worry about diversity on next debate stage North Carolina congressman says he won't seek reelection after redistricting NC rep explores Tillis primary challenge MORE (R-N.C.), a member of House leadership, tweeted out a gif of the Joker burning a giant pile of cash when the announcement came out.

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“Our credit card is maxed out,” he wrote in a follow-up Tweet. “What this budget deal does is ask the credit card company for another $320 billion in credit NOW for the chance to get paid back $75 billion in a decade. No bank would take that. American taxpayers shouldn’t either,” he added. 

 

Rep. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyCongressional Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses two Texas Democrats Congressional investigation finds Coast Guard leadership fell short on handling bullying Trump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization MORE (R-Texas), a member of the House Freedom Caucus, on Monday penned a letter to Trump opposing the agreement and has since said he is “on board” with energizing conservatives to defeat the bill.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a watchdog that advocates for lowering deficits, estimated that the deal would cost $1.7 trillion over a decade, and add another 5 percentage points to the debt by the end of the decade.

Since Trump took office, the debt has grown from just under $20 trillion to over $22 trillion. While mandatory spending remains the largest driver of deficits, the 2017 GOP tax law was projected to add $1.9 trillion to the deficit over a decade, and bipartisan deals to increase defense and domestic spending have added billions more.

"President Trump will have set the record for the largest increases in federal spending in the history of our country, surpassing George W. Bush's Republican record," said one member of the conservative Freedom Caucus.

The caucus is expected to meet Tuesday to discuss the deal. But its leaders, Reps. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — Sparks fly as House Judiciary debates impeachment articles Democrats object to Meadows passing note to Jordan from dais Meadows says he's advocating for Trump to add Alan Dershowitz to impeachment defense team MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanDemocrats object to Meadows passing note to Jordan from dais Live coverage: House panel debates articles of impeachment Horowitz to appear before second Senate panel next week MORE (R-Ohio), both key Trump allies, have remained uncharacteristically quiet since the deal's announcement, focusing their recent fire on an upcoming hearing with former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House panel debates articles of impeachment Trump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts MORE.

Other conservatives have also been wary of criticizing Trump, who enthusiastically supported the deal in a tweet.

“President Trump has worked hard in his budget to restrain Congress’s unending desire to spend, but we can’t support this spending deal,” said David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth.

McIntosh cast blame for the deal on Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinUS, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline Lawmakers strike spending deal to avert shutdown McConnell accuses Democrats of stonewalling funding talks with wall demands  MORE, who was the lead negotiator with House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiVulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Photographer leaves Judiciary hearing after being accused of taking photos of member notes Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — House passes sweeping Pelosi bill to lower drug prices | Senate confirms Trump FDA pick | Trump officials approve Medicaid work requirements in South Carolina MORE (D-Calif.) after Trump’s acting chief of staff, Freedom Caucus founder Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneySenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' Fox's Chris Wallace calls out Trump for the 'most sustained assault on freedom of the press' in US history MORE, was sidelined.

“We also hope President Trump gives Secretary Mnuchin a copy of The Art of the Deal so that he will not be as weak and give in to liberal demands in future negotiations,” McIntosh said.

Other outside groups and influencers were less reticent about criticizing Trump.

Adam Brandon, the president of FreedomWorks, a conservative group, called the deal a “disgrace.”

The Drudge Report, a conservative internet portal, led its site with the banner “More spending, More Debt; $320 Billion blowout.”

The conservative Heritage Foundation, which has played a key role in crafting some Trump White House policies, didn’t hold back either.

“This deal comes less than four years after President Trump campaigned to balance the budget by cutting spending and after his administration produced three budgets to move toward fiscal sustainability,” said Heritage scholar Paul Winfree. 

“If President Trump takes this deal — the worst in a decade — his fiscal legacy will be no different than the Obama and Bush administrations that he has criticized,” he added. 

Scott Wong contributed.

--Updated at 12:03 p.m.