Freedom Caucus Criticizes Speaker’s Spending Deal as a ‘Complete Failure’

The House Freedom Caucus came out swinging against Speaker Mike Johnson’s $1.6 trillion federal spending deal, calling the budget agreement with President Joe Biden and Democrats a “total failure.”

Johnson, accused by hardline conservatives of making the same mistakes as former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, is likely to lose the backing of some House Freedom Caucus members, which means Johnson must rely on the support of Democrats to get any deal done and avert a partial government shutdown.

Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., one of the eight Republicans who moved to oust McCarthy last year and the incoming Freedom Caucus chair, criticized the deal on social media Sunday, calling it “another loss for America.”

“Republicans agreeing to spending levels $69 billion higher than last summer’s debt ceiling ‘deal,’ with no significant policy wins is nothing but another loss for America,” Good posted on X. “At some point, having the House majority has to matter. Stop funding this spending with an open border!”

In a post on X on Sunday, the Freedom Caucus said the deal is “even worse than we thought,” labeling it a “total failure.”

According to The Washington Times, the topline spending figure for the rest of fiscal year 2024 honors a funding deal McCarthy struck with Biden last year to increase the nation’s debt ceiling. It’s a major stumbling block for Johnson with Republicans, however, as Congress races to get a bill across the finish line and avert a partial government shutdown on Jan. 19.

Included in the $1.59 trillion is $886 billion in defense spending and $704 billion in non-defense spending. But when the extra $69 billion side deal McCarthy and Biden agreed on is factored in, the total figure comes to nearly $1.66 trillion.

Johnson was able to secure $16 billion in spending cuts to offset the McCarthy-Biden side deal, but critics say they’re not enough. According to the Times, those cuts include $6 billion in unspent pandemic funds and $10 billion in additional IRS cuts.

Former Freedom Caucus Chair Andy Biggs called the top-line spending figure of $1.59 trillion “bogus” in a post on X on Sunday.

“$1.658 trillion is the real number once you dig through the smoke and mirrors,” Biggs wrote. “Sad to say but the spending epidemic in Washington continues with both parties being culpable.”

In a dig at Johnson, former Trump White House Budget Director Russ Vought posted a picture of a head of lettuce Monday, writing, “I think a lettuce could have negotiated a better deal.”

The Times reported that Johnson expected conservative criticism and acknowledged in a letter to Republicans that the agreement’s final spending levels “will not satisfy everyone, and they do not cut as much spending as many of us would like.”

Johnson said the budget deal contains the first non-VA, non-defense spending reductions since fiscal year 2017.

“This represents the most favorable budget agreement Republicans have achieved in over a decade,” Johnson reportedly wrote in the letter.

After a two-part stopgap funding framework that Congress approved in November, the first of two shutdown deadlines comes on Jan. 19, with the second looming on Feb. 2.

Nicole Wells |

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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