In a sign of growing discontent with the Incredible Shrinking Budget Cut, conservative freshmen Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Allen West of Florida have both indicated they will not support the deal reached between House Speaker John Boehner and the Democrats last Friday.
In an appearance on Fox & Friends this morning, Rubio said he thinks “today’s budget deal takes us in the wrong direction.” He added, “I don’t know what’s wrong with people around here, but this thing isn’t going to solve itself… we’re either going to solve this problem or not, and right now we’re not doing anything to solve this problem.” As you can see from the clip below, he’s even less enchanted with President Obama’s budget demagoguery:
West, meanwhile, said he would “NOT be voting for another short term CR.” He delivered this message via Twitter, but he can talk out loud in capital letters, too. “There is a confrontation coming on this budget,” he added, “and the sooner we get to it, the better.”
There are stalwart conservatives in the other 56 states, and some of them are sounding the same warnings as their Florida colleagues. Representative Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota says “voters expected us to defund ObamaCare,” and she wants to take her shot at it now. Representative Mike Pence of Indiana thought Boehner “fought a good fight,” but the deal “probably is not good enough for me to support it.” Senator Mike Lee of Utah told Newsmax he’ll vote against the bill because the cuts are “absolutely miniscule.”
Lee has been doing a lot more than merely expressing his dissatisfaction. He got together with Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky (another avowed “no” vote on the budget deal) and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to create a Social Security Solvency and Sustainability Act, skipping the appetizers to dive right into the main course of savage budget battles.
The House Republican leadership is still confident that its budget agreement will pass, despite the growing sense of disappointment among conservatives. However, spines appear to be stiffening for the debt limit debate ahead. It would be an odd, unanticipated consequence of this Continuing Resolution drama if conservative disappointment with the outcome produces far more spectacular results in the high-stakes drama ahead.