Freedom Caucus Republican: Trump should veto spending bill

Freedom Caucus Republican: Trump should veto spending bill
© Moriah Ratner
House conservatives are criticizing the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill their party's leaders have negotiated, with one leader from the right saying that he hopes President TrumpDonald John TrumpAustralia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israeli capital, won't move embassy Mulvaney will stay on as White House budget chief Trump touts ruling against ObamaCare: ‘Mitch and Nancy’ should pass new health-care law MORE will veto it. 
 

While the legislation has not yet been finalized, GOP hardliners are saying the spending bill fails to deliver conservative wins.

"I would just say Planned Parenthood gets money, the unconstitutional Fix NICS program gets money, the Gateway project gets money, the American taxpayer gets a trillion deficit, and no money for the wall," Jordan, one of the most vocal members of the House Freedom Caucus, told reporters.

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Provisions providing funding for the proposed Gateway Tunnel project, Planned Parenthood and Fix NICS language, which is aimed at strengthening background checks on gun purchasers, are expected to be included in the finalized legislation in an effort to garner the Democratic votes needed to pass the bill.

Republican hard-liners have taken issue with the federal funding slated to be allocated toward the Gateway project, arguing the spending bill shouldn't provide more funding for what they consider an earmark than it does for border security. 

Trump has lobbied against funding Gateway, a massive rail project in the New York metro region, but it is expected to receive funding in the current bill. The spending bill is also expected to include $641 million for new nonconcrete border fencing and $1.3 billion in funding for new border technology. 

But Jordan said it's not enough to deliver on conservative promises.

"So that is not in any way close to what the election was about, close to what we've campaigned on, close to what we told the American people we were going to accomplish when they gave us the privilege to serve and be in power," Jordan said.

House conservatives said they're concerned the Republican-controlled Congress is forming a pattern of funding Democrats' priorities while dramatically increasing the nation's debt.

"I'm voting against it, as you already know — I mean everyone up here is voting against it — and if the bill passes the way it is, I hope the White House does veto," Jordan said, adding he that isn't sure what the president's decision will ultimately be. Trump has indicated support for the bill.

"But I think it's not good for the American taxpayer, not consistent, anywhere close to consistent, to what we said we would do when they elected us in 2016," Jordan said.

Congress has until midnight Friday to pass legislation to avert its third government shutdown of the year. Top Republicans in the lower chamber are considering waiving a rule requiring bills to be posted for three days before it can be considered on the House floor, allowing them to pass the legislation Thursday. The Senate would then take up the bill Friday, where the legislation could be changed and sent back to the House.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsTrump names Mulvaney acting chief of staff GOP lawmaker predicts Kushner will be Trump’s next chief of staff Chris Christie declines White House chief of staff role MORE (R-N.C.) is calling for Congress to pass a continuing resolution, arguing members need more to see what's in the bill.

"One of the things that's being reported right now is that they're going to waive the three-day rule to vote for this omnibus, and I think that's a very, very troubling sign," he told reporters. "If voting on a spending bill that is almost $1.3 trillion is not worth reading, I don't know of any bill that would be worth reading."