Freshman Republican: ‘Extreme Wing’ Of GOP Risks Huge Mistake On Budget

March 14, 2011 11:55 a.m.

This won’t go over well with a lot of his fellow GOPers. Freshman Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), the Staten Island Republican who defeated Democrat Michael McMahon in November, just launched a broadside against conservative members of his own party who are threatening to defect from spending legislation that seeks to prevent a government shutdown.

“The extreme wing of the Republican Party is making a big mistake with their flat-out opposition to a short-term continuing resolution,” Grimm said in a statement. “I know that there is some opposition to working with Senate Democrats from the extreme right of the tea party who would rather see a government shutdown than pass a short-term solution; however, as long as we continue to cut spending each time, we are keeping our promise to the American people to reduce the deficit and fix the economy.”

File that under statements that will make Chuck Schumer very happy. Counter-intuitively, though, John Boehner might also be breathing a sigh of relief. Not because he’s happy about the rifts within his party, or because he secretly agrees with Grimm on the merits. But Grimm and others like him represent a potential buffer for Boehner if the right flank of his party becomes too unwieldy and he has to legislate, as Schumer suggested, with the help of a lot of Democrats. For now he’s shown no signs of moving in that direction.

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