Report: Freedom Caucus Members Are Ready To Cave On Fiscal Austerity

December 21, 2016 2:43 p.m.

Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus may be shifting their uncompromising, tough budget stance under President-elect Donald Trump, according to a report in the National Review.

According to the piece, there is discussion underway to accept that just 50 percent of Trump’s infrastructure bill would have to be offset with spending cuts elsewhere– a precedent that they never would have accepted under President Barack Obama.

After Trump was first elected, members of the House Freedom Caucus were vocal about their opposition to some of Trump’s costly legislative priorities like a $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

“If Trump doesn’t find a way to pay for it, the majority of us, if not all of us, are going to vote against it,” Raul Labrador (R-ID) told reporters, according to the National Review piece.

Now, the mood has shifted dramatically.

“According to several members, there has been informal talk of accepting a bill that’s only 50 percent paid for, with the rest of the borrowing being offset down the road by “economic growth.” It’s an arrangement Republicans would never have endorsed under a President Hillary Clinton, and a slippery slope to go down with Trump,” Alberta said.

That line of thinking is surprising, but as the National Review piece points out not entirely without any rationale. Republicans in the Freedom Caucus were in part railing against the establishment. They fought first and foremost for fiscal austerity, of course, but Trump won their voters on a policy that reached beyond that. It seems they are willing to let Trump’s agenda stand for now even if it means deficit spending.

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