Conservatives slam Ryan-Murray budget deal

December 11, 2013

Some leading conservative groups and figures have come out strongly against the budget agreement reached by congressional negotiators led by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

Opponents of the proposal include the anti-tax Club for Growth, Heritage Action for America, Americans For Prosperity, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

The plan, which was unveiled Tuesday, would fund the federal government through the fall of 2015. It would do away with half of the across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration and replace them with savings from other programs.

"This proposal swaps debt reduction today and next year, for the dubious promise of debt reduction a decade from now,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola.

In a statement opposing the plan, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) drew from the "Popeye" cartoon, saying there is a "recurring theme in Washington budget negotiations. It's I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."

Tim Phillips, the head of Americans for Prosperity, decried the proposed end of spending levels imposed by sequestration.

"The American people remember hard-won bipartisan spending limits set by the sequester and are not pleased to see their conservative representatives so easily go back on their word to rein in government over-spending," he said.

On the campaign trail, some Republican candidates running to the right of Senate incumbents started taking aim at the plan even before it was officially released.

Republican Matt Bevin, who is running to the right of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said the plan would allow Washington to "continue its reckless spending." State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), who is challenging Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), called the plan a "complete abdication of Washington’s governing responsibility." Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts's primary opponent Milton Wolf urged him to vote against the Ryan-Murray plan.

Updated at 12:49 p.m.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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