WASHINGTON – The budget agreement struck by Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray is poised to pass the Senate and one of the key outside conservative groups is still holding firm in their opposition to the deal.
Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham attributes the Christmas season as one of the reasons why legislators are rushing to vote for the budget bill.
“Nothing focuses the mind of a congressman like the smell of jet fuel come Christmas season,” Needham told DC-based talk radio station WMAL Radio on Tuesday. “It was not a deficit reduction deal. It was a deal that raises spending and a deal that raises taxes.”
The Heritage Action chief acknowledges the merits of GOP arguments pushing for compromise and focusing efforts on a 2014 fight against the Affordable Care Act rather than a shutdown showdown but he cautions that even with this budget deal, the health care law may not be a high priority for some congressional leaders.
“If we spend the next ten months talking about ObamaCare — and not doing what the Speaker is suggesting — pivoting to immigration,” Needham says. “There may be some merit to that.”
On Thursday, Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, was quick to harshly criticize outside conservative advocacy groups including Heritage Action for opposing the two-year budget deal.
“They’re using our members and they’re using the American people for their own goals,” Boehner told reporters at a press conference. “This is ridiculous.”
Needham responded to the speaker’s remarks: “Reasonable people should be able to disagree on policy without having their motives called into question. “