Boehner Slaps Conservatives: 'This is Ridiculous'

Susan Jones | December 11, 2013 | 11:22am EST
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House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) (AP File Photo/Molly Riley)

( - House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday took a swipe at conservative groups that "came out and opposed" a bipartisan budget deal "before they ever saw it."

"They're using our members, and they're using the American people for their own goals. This is ridiculous," he said at a Republican news conference.

"Listen, if you're for more deficit reduction, you're for this agreement," he snapped.

The Heritage Foundation said the budget deal "thoroughly disappoints," and the conservative group offers "three key facts on the sour deal":  It busts through supposed spending caps; it taxes and spends; and it spends now and delays savings until later.

Heritage also noted that budget conferees failed to make substantive reforms to entitlement programs, which it describes as the real drivers of spending and debt.

Likewise, Americans for Prosperity said the deal reverses "hard-won bipartisan spending limits set by the sequester."

"Spending levels were set by law at $967 billion. Exceeding those levels by $45 billion takes us in the wrong direction; further from fiscal responsibility, and further from the promise made to the American people."

And FreedomWorks is urging a "no" vote on the bipartisan plan, saying it "is not acceptable to fiscal conservatives."

"The proposed plan would increase spending $63 billion above the budget caps set by Budget Control Act of 2011—the only actual spending control achieved by Congress under the Obama Administration. The deal claims to offset these costs by increasing various fees, and by making small reforms to government pensions. These new fees aren’t being used to shrink government or balance the budget; they’re simply a mask to help hide the breaching of the budget caps," FreedomWorks said.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who led the Republican negotiations, said on Wednesday that the budget agreement "maintains 72 percent of the sequester in the next year and a half, and it preserves 92 percent of the sequester over the life of the sequester."

He said Democrats wanted the sequester completely replaced, but "we didn't agree with that." He also emphasized the importance of finding "common ground" with Democrats.

"We know that this budget agreement doesn't come close to achieving what we want to achieve on our ultimate fiscal goals, but again, if we can get a step in the right direction,  we're going to take that step and that's why we're doing this," Ryan said.

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