Initial conservative skepticism has turned into rising outrage over a spending bargain approved by GOP lawmakers Sunday night — the first budget agreement hammered out since President Donald Trump took office.
“They are, in fact, funding President Obama’s priorities,” Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, told LifeZette, referring to the Republican members of Congress who sit on the Appropriations Committee. “They’re behaving as if President Obama’s still in place.”
“The depth of the betrayal and perfidy is beyond the ability of a human to grasp.”
The bill, to fund the federal government through September, allocates no money for construction of a border wall, continues funding for sanctuary cities, bails out Puerto Rico’s healthcare system, gives President Trump only half of the $30 billion increase he’d requested for the Department of Defense, and continues federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
The deal also includes a 1 percent reduction in the EPA’s budget and no staff cuts (where Trump sought a 31 percent cut), increases the cap on H-2B visas, increases funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, includes $323 million for a new FBI headquarters, funds the issuance of visas to Afghans, and scores of other programs that conservatives have pointed to, for many years, as being unnecessary or frivolous.
Conservatives, it appears, got almost nothing.
“I think you’re going to see a lot of conservatives be against this plan this week,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the founder of the Freedom Caucus and the group’s former chairman, said Monday on CNN.
“The GOP sells you out AGAIN. They are useless,” tweeted Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent and congressional candidate in Maryland and Florida.
“The depth of the betrayal and perfidy is beyond the ability of a human to grasp,” wrote Daniel Horowitz, senior editor of The Conservative Review.
“It’s beyond frustrating that Congress is poised to pass a government funding bill that continues to fund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion vendor and the subject of over a dozen criminal referrals from committees in both the House and Senate,” said Kristina Hernandez of Students for Life, the largest pro-life youth group. “The Republican Party is the only party with an anti-abortion platform and whose candidates ran specifically on the promise to defund Planned Parenthood, yet, here we are, watching them pass a bill that funds Planned Parenthood even though they control the House, Senate, and White House.”
The president’s budget, titled “American First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again” included deep spending cuts at many federal agencies (21 percent at Agriculture, 16 percent at Commerce, 13 percent at Education, 5.6 percent at Energy, 18 percent at Health and Human Services, and 13 percent at Housing and Urban Development).
The bipartisan spending agreement appears to disregard the president’s budget blueprint entirely, and maintains most of the current funding levels.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued a press release touting the spending agreement on Monday.
“America will be stronger and safer because of this government funding bill,” the statement says. “It acts on President Trump’s commitment to rebuild our military for the 21st century and bolster our nation’s border security to protect our homeland. Importantly, we have boosted resources for our defense needs without corresponding increases in non-defense spending, as Democrats had insisted upon for years. At the same time, we are investing in the most critical needs of our communities, from disaster relief to the fight against the opioid epidemic.”
Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), meanwhile, praised the bill, saying it increases spending on education and ensures taxpayers don’t have to pay for an “ineffective” border wall.
“Early on in this debate, Democrats clearly laid out our principles,” he said. “At the end of the day, this is an agreement that reflects those principles.”
A spokesperson for Ryan did not immediately return a request for comment.