Freedom Caucus Member Demands Speaker Candidates Oppose Budget Deal

Tom Williams/CQPHO

One of the members of the House Freedom Caucus on Tuesday called on all candidates for speaker to oppose the, in his words, “monstrosity of a budget deal” that would stave off a government shutdown.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) blasted the bipartisan deal that was being pushed by outgoing House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

“Leadership’s determination to ram through this legislation days before we reach the debt limit, with zero input from rank and file Members of Congress, demonstrates precisely what is wrong with Washington, D.C.,” Meadows said in a statement.

The deal, which was reached late Monday on the Hill, will take a government shutdown off the table until after the 2016 election and suspend the current debt limit through March 2017, the AP reported.

The deal is heralded as a gift from Boehner, who is expected to hand the speaker’s gavel to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) later this week.

A majority of the Freedom Caucus said last week they planned to vote for Ryan for speaker, although he fell short of the 80 percent vote he needed for the group’s formal endorsement.

Here is Meadows’ full statement:

For weeks, behind closed doors the outgoing Speaker of the House has partnered with Democrats and Senate Leadership to craft a monstrosity of a budget deal that includes a clean $1.5 trillion debt ceiling increase, more nondefense spending, and a host of policy provisions that no one except President Obama, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have had a chance to offer input into.

Leadership’s determination to ram through this legislation days before we reach the debt limit, with zero input from rank and file Members of Congress, demonstrates precisely what is wrong with Washington, D.C. As I laid out when I introduced the Motion to Vacate the Chair (H.Res 385), the Speaker must not use the legislative calendar to “create crises for the American people, in order to compel Members to vote for legislation.” Nor should the Speaker of the House push through extremely consequential legislation that every American has a stake in without allowing lawmakers a minimum of 72 hours to review it before voting.

Anyone who supports this legislation is complicit in supporting “the way things are” in Washington. We are at an important crossroads in the House of Representatives. We have an opportunity to bring about real reform and fundamentally change the broken system in place on Capitol Hill. Therefore I call on all candidates running for Speaker of the House to oppose this legislation and go on record showing they do not support this approach to governing. Now is the time to demonstrate real leadership by committing to ending the culture of governing by crises and to no longer allow the few to make the decisions for the many. The American people demand better from their elected officials.

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