Freedom Caucus Members Resist Trump With On-Principle ‘No’ Vote On Budget Deal

Evie Fordham on July 25, 2019

Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus said they were voting no on the White House and congressional leaders’ budget deal Thursday and even called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to keep Congress in session instead of going into August recess.

The bill passed 284 to 149 Thursday, and roughly twice as many Republicans voted against the bill as for it. Freedom Caucus member and Tennessee Republican Rep. Mark Green spoke with the Daily Caller News Foundation why he was voting against the deal in an interview hours before.

“I made a promise to my constituents that I wouldn’t vote for spending increases without offsets. … The president’s initial budget is the right one to go with, but of course the Democrats won’t even let us look at that. Here we go again being strong-armed by the Democrats, who don’t care about budget. We have to, in order to get the military funded — the president is forced into an impossible situation,” Green said.

More than 30 Republicans in the Freedom Caucus signed a letter Thursday requesting the House stay in session until members vote on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) funding and address issues affecting the southern border like asylum loopholes.

“ICE is using all the tools and resources at their disposal to house, process, and care for the hundreds of thousands of migrants crossing our southern border each month. They are overwhelmed. They’ve told Congress time after time they are overwhelmed, yet we have refused to supply them with the tools they need,” the letter stated.

The Trump administration and congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle struck the budget deal Monday. It would suspend the debt limit until July 31, 2021.

The agreement increases Pentagon spending by $22 billion to $738 billion for the next fiscal year. It increases non-defense spending by $27 billion to $632 billion. The agreement offsets roughly $77 billion through moves like extending customs fees, according to Politico.

“I think we could find $500 million by defunding Planned Parenthood. That’s a big chunk, a big place to start,” Green told the DCNF Thursday.

Trump tweeted hours before the vote encouraging House Republicans to vote “yes.”

“House Republicans should support the TWO YEAR BUDGET AGREEMENT which greatly helps our Military and our Vets. I am totally with you!” he wrote on Twitter.

DCwire features investigative reporting syndicated with permission from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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