Right revolts on budget deal

House conservatives on Wednesday revolted against a massive bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling and bust spending caps, complaining that the GOP could no longer lay claim to being the party of fiscal responsibility.

“I’m not only a ‘no.’ I’m a ‘hell no,’ ” quipped Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksLatino groups intervene in Alabama census lawsuit Alabama GOP congressman preps possible Senate bid against Doug Jones Loyalty to Donald Trump is new normal for the Republican Party MORE (R-Ala.), one of many members of the Tea Party-aligned Freedom Caucus who left a closed-door meeting of Republicans saying they would vote against the deal.

It’s a “Christmas tree on steroids,” lamented one of the Freedom Caucus leaders, Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.).

“This spending proposal is disgusting and reckless — the biggest spending increase since 2009,” conservative Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashRand Paul ramps up his alliance with Trump Ethics watchdog requests probe into Trump officials traveling to campaign events Kavanaugh’s views on privacy, Fourth Amendment should make Republicans think twice MORE (R-Mich.) tweeted after the meeting. “I urge every American to speak out against this fiscal insanity.”

The debt hike, in particular, is giving conservatives “heartburn,” said Rep. Dennis RossDennis Alan RossGOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Reshaping US aid to the Palestinians Trump allies want Congress to find anonymous op-ed author MORE (R-Fla.), a member of the GOP vote-counting team.

The swift backlash from fiscal hawks means that Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDems fight to protect Mueller amid Rosenstein rumors Jordan wants Rosenstein to testify before House Judiciary Committee Kamala Harris calls for Senate to protect Mueller probe as Rosenstein faces potential dismissal MORE (R-Wis.) and his leadership team will need dozens of Democratic votes to help get the caps-and-funding deal through the lower chamber to avert a government shutdown set for midnight Thursday. 

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At the same time, some Republicans predicted a majority of the majority would back the package.

Former Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Rep. Bill FloresWilliam (Bill) Hose FloresJordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker The White House can — and should — bypass Congress to kill Obama-era spending GOP leaders jockey for affection of House conservatives MORE (R-Texas), who said he will probably support the package, estimated that about two-thirds of the lawmakers who spoke at the microphones during the closed-door meeting actually voiced support.

Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Dems fight to protect Mueller amid Rosenstein rumors Republicans threaten to subpoena Nellie Ohr MORE (R-N.C.), the current Freedom Caucus chairman, predicted that the budget deal will get support from a majority of the majority, but not enough to pass without Democratic votes.

It’s unclear how many Democrats will support the plan without concessions from Ryan, given immigration demands from House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDisclosures suggest rebates and insurers responsible for rising out-of-pocket drug costs Democrats keeping GOP from motivating voters with Trump impeachment threat, analyst says Celebrities, lawmakers wear black to support Kavanaugh’s accuser MORE (D-Calif.).

As Senate leaders announced their bipartisan agreement, Pelosi was on the floor threatening to oppose the emerging budget deal without a commitment to consider legislation in the House to protect young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, known as “Dreamers.”

But there are a lot of other items in the package that are attractive to Democrats, including money for the opioid crisis, disaster aid, more Children’s Health Insurance Program funding, community health center funding and the nondefense spending boost.

“We would need votes coming from both ways,” said Rep. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re prepared to testify Indicted lawmaker angers GOP with decision to run for reelection Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls MORE (R-N.Y.). “Pelosi I guess won’t vote for it, but … I do think we will have a number of Democrats that would break.”

It’s also possible more Republicans will back the legislation given opposition from Pelosi.

Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerOn The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Conservatives left frustrated as Congress passes big spending bills Trump's Puerto Rico tweets spark backlash MORE (R-N.C.), current RSC chairman, acknowledged in a tweet that the deal is “a struggle for any one with fiscal concerns,” but said he was more inclined to support it “the longer Nancy Pelosi bloviates on the House Floor.”

The deal between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFord's lawyer: Hearing doesn't appear to be designed for 'fair', 'respectful' treatment GOP opens door to holding Kavanaugh committee vote this week Press: Judge Kavanaugh must withdraw MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) calls for raising the debt ceiling through March 2019 and busting budget caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act. It would boost funding for the Pentagon and domestic programs by about $300 billion over current levels over the next two fiscal years, but lawmakers said only about $100 billion of that would be offset.

The Bipartisan Budget Act also calls for an additional four years of funding for a popular children’s health program; $90 billion in additional disaster aid for hurricane-ravaged Florida, Puerto Rico and Texas; billions more to fight the opioid epidemic and funding for community health centers that serve the poor and uninsured.

The legislation would keep the government funded for another six weeks, through March 23. That should give lawmakers enough time to write an omnibus spending bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year.

Many fiscal hawks who were complaining the loudest Tuesday were among those lawmakers who rode an anti-spending, anti-debt Tea Party wave to Washington during the 2010 and 2012 cycles.

Rep. Scott PerryScott Gordon PerryCook Political Report moves 4 GOP seats to 'toss-up' category Conservative group pledges .5 million for 12 House GOP candidates Lawmaker lists fake Sacha Baron Cohen award on campaign site MORE (R-Pa.) described the atmosphere inside the GOP conference room as “tense,” while Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertTrump: 'Fake news media’ didn’t cover when Obama said '57 states' in 2008 Bipartisan pair offers advice on ‘Climbing the Hill’ Trump allies want Congress to find anonymous op-ed author MORE (R-Texas) said it was “kind of depressing” to think Republicans could be responsible for adding billions of dollars to the deficit when they control all the levers of power in Washington.

“It’s too much money,” Perry said.

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies The federal government must stop stifling medical marijuana research Hillicon Valley: Twitter chief faces GOP anger over bias | DOJ convenes meeting on bias claims | Rubio clashes with Alex Jones | DHS chief urges lawmakers to pass cyber bill | Sanders bill takes aim at Amazon MORE (R-Fla.) quipped that fiscal hawks might now be an “endangered species.”

Meadows and Reps. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanRosenstein faces Trump showdown On The Money: 0B more in Trump tariffs kick in | China calls off trade talks | CEO confidence slips over tariffs | GOP to move spending bill over Trump concerns | Behind the scenes look at how the GOP tax law passed Dems fight to protect Mueller amid Rosenstein rumors MORE (R-Ohio) and Warren DavidsonWarren Earl DavidsonOn The Money: 0B more in Trump tariffs kick in | China calls off trade talks | CEO confidence slips over tariffs | GOP to move spending bill over Trump concerns | Behind the scenes look at how the GOP tax law passed GOP set to move 4B spending bill despite Trump criticisms Freedom Caucus ponders weakened future in minority MORE (R-Ohio) were among the members who stood up during the conference meeting to vent their frustration, lawmakers in the room said.

Retiring House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingMidterms to shake up top posts on House finance panel Kavanaugh hires attorney amid sexual assault allegations: report Did Congress just settle for less than best plan to reform housing finance? MORE (R-Texas), a close Ryan friend, also railed against lifting the debt ceiling, sources said.

Jordan, a former Freedom Caucus chairman, said earlier in the day that he was disappointed by the tentative deal and expressed surprise that Ryan — who has staked his political career on being a fiscal hawk — would go along with the proposal.

“It’s a terrible deal,” Jordan said. “I never thought Speaker Ryan would be supportive of this … I just never thought the Speaker would go here with these high numbers.”

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Brooks slammed the deal as a “debt junkie’s dream.”

“I don’t know if we have enough votes amongst the members to stop this legislation,” the outspoken Alabama conservative said. “All I know is that unfortunately those who vote for this bill are betraying our country’s future and they are selling out our kids and our grandkids.

“I am baffled why the Republican Party has turned into such a big spending party. It is one thing to spend money; it is another thing to spend money you don’t have,” Brooks went on. “No American family can operate that way; no American business can operate that way, and it is folly to believe that the United States of America can operate that way.”

Some defense hawks were also upset over the proposal because of the inclusion of the debt ceiling.

Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneFive GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus House votes to overhaul fishery management law The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Expensive and brutal: Inside the Supreme Court fight ahead MORE (R-Ala.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said he was prepared to swallow the spending boost for domestic programs in exchange for the military bulk-up, but he was thrown off by raising the debt ceiling as part of the deal.

He declined to take a position on the package until he sees the final details, however.

Part of Ryan’s pitch to the conference, according to lawmakers who attended, was that the budget deal not only delivers a long sought-after spending boost for the military, but it also clears the way for an honest debate over immigration if lawmakers don’t have the debt ceiling, the threat of government shutdown and other unresolved issues looming over their heads.

Cristina Marcos contributed