Boehner Unloads At Conservative Groups That Oppose The Budget Deal: 'This Is Ridiculous!'

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John Boehner

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) snapped at conservative groups that have come out in opposition to the budget deal reached Wednesday between Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). 

"They're using the American people for their own purposes. This is ridiculous," Boehner said at a press conference with other members of House Republican leadership on Wednesday. 

Over the past few days, a number of conservative groups have blasted the deal because it sets discretionary spending levels in the budget higher than previous levels under sequestration.

In the past three days, the influential Heritage Action, Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, and FreedomWorks have all signaled they would oppose the deal. They have all argued that while imperfect, the sequester has provided the only effective check on the Obama administration's spending.

The legislation provides  $63 billion in sequester relief over two years, which is split evenly between defense and non-defense programs. This is offset by targeted spending cuts and non-tax revenues that total $85 billion. It reduces the deficit by a total of $20 billion to $23 billion over a 10-year period.

When Boehner was asked in the press conference about the conservative groups, he cut off the reporter asking the question. 

"You mean the groups that came out opposed to it before they ever saw it?" he said. "...  If you're for more deficit reduction, you're for this agreement."

Soon after the press conference, the groups denounced Boehner's comments. Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said that the group stood with the likes of Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), all of whom oppose the deal. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also plans to vote against the deal, a source close to McConnell told Business Insider on Wednesday afternoon.

"After carefully reviewing the budget deal, on which we never commented until it was complete, we determined that it would increase the size of government," Chocola said. "We support pro-growth proposals when they are considered by Congress. In our evaluation, this isn’t one of those."

Dan Holler, a spokesman for Heritage Action, echoed Chocola's sentiments.

“Americans are deeply concerned about the direction of the country. Over the next few days, lawmakers will have to explain to their constituents, many of whom are our members, what they’ve achieved by increasing spending, increasing taxes and offering up another round of promises waiting to be broken," Holler told Business Insider.

"That will be a really tough sell back home. Meanwhile, we’ll continue fighting to achieve our goal, which is create an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society flourish.”

 

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