Conservative group raises concerns about potential budget deal

Conservative group raises concerns about potential budget deal
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A prominent conservative group is raising concerns about a potential budget deal that would raise spending caps and suspend the debt limit.

The Club for Growth is taking issue with the fact that a budget agreement could lead to an increase in the debt at a time when debt and deficit levels are already high. The group's comments come after the Office of Management and Budget estimated that the deficit will be about $1 trillion this year.

“Congressional Leadership continues to aggressively pursue spending agreements that propel our country toward bankruptcy and fiscal crisis," Club for Growth President David McIntosh said in a statement Friday. "President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE will be running for reelection with an annual deficit over $1 trillion and without Congress having made any progress on America’s staggering national debt, which exceeds $22 trillion."

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McIntosh added that the Club for Growth has been encouraged by people in the Trump administration who are interested in reining in deficits, but that "too many in Congress, especially those in Leadership, have no intention of showing fiscal restraint."

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by AdvaMed — House panel delays impeachment vote until Friday US, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline Lawmakers strike spending deal to avert shutdown MORE said Thursday that he and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiUSMCA is nice but no model Anti-impeachment Democrat poised to switch parties Grassley urges White House to help farmers in year-end tax talks MORE (D-Calif.) have reached an agreement on the top-line numbers for defense and nondefense discretionary spending for a two-year budget deal. 

Mnuchin said that the administration and congressional leaders are still discussing what amount of spending cuts and revenue raisers would be included in the package to help pay for the agreement.

The Trump administration is pushing for about $150 billion in offsets to be included in the deal. The White House sent Capitol Hill a list of offsets on Thursday night.

A Democratic source close to the talks said that the White House's list is a "starting point for negotiations on this aspect," and that the administration understands that those levels are "nonstarters" for Democrats. Discussions about offsets remain ongoing.

The Committee for Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), a budget watchdog group, said in a statement Friday that any budget deal shouldn't add to the debt.

"Now is the chance for Congress to show they can support federal investments and national security without abandoning fiscal responsibility and leaving the bill for future generations," CRFB President Maya MacGuineas said.