Conservative groups denounce McConnell-Reid deal

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
Font Size:

WASHINGTON — Conservative groups are strongly urging Republican lawmakers not to support the last minute fiscal deal brokered by Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid to re-open the government and raise the debt limit.

“Republican leadership has completely lost its way. Not only is this proposal a full surrender — it’s a complete surrender with presents for the Democrats,” FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe said Wednesday.

FreedomWorks, a D.C.-based group that organizes tea partiers, is urging lawmakers to vote against the deal and will use the vote to score lawmakers on its 2013 economic scorecard.

The deal agreed to by McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, and Reid, the Democratic leader, would extend the debt limit until Feb. 7 and would fund the government until Jan. 15 at sequester levels.

The deal includes new income verification measures for those receiving Obamacare subsidies. But it doesn’t include some of the anti-Obamacare measures conservatives have been pushing for, including delaying or defunding the law or killing special subsidies for lawmakers.

The House and Senate could take up the proposal on Wednesday.

Drew Ryun of the Madison Project, which supports and raises money for conservative candidates, said Wednesday that the “deal shows once again that the Senate Leadership, led by Mitch McConnell, knows nothing but capitulation.”

“Rather than working to dismantle the monstrosity that is Obamacare, Senate Republicans chose to hand Harry Reid and the Democrat party a victory at the expense of hard-working Americans,” Ryun said. “This is unacceptable.”

The influential Club for Growth has alerted lawmakers that they oppose the deal too.

“This announced plan, the details of which aren’t completely known, appears to have little to no reforms in it,” Club for Growth lobbyist Andy Roth told lawmakers in an email Wednesday. “There are no significant changes to ObamaCare, nothing on the other major entitlements that are racked with trillions in unfunded liabilities, and no meaningful spending cuts either. If this bill passes, Congress will kick the can down the road, yet again.”

Likewise, Heritage Action opposes the proposal and will consider it a key vote when it scores lawmakers.

“Despite some language addressing the Obama administration’s willful disregard for Obamacare’s income verification requirements, the proposed plan will do absolutely nothing to help Americans who are negatively impacted by Obamacare,” the group said Wednesday.

Jenny Beth Martin, the national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, said in a statement that the “deal cut in the Senate does NOT protect the American people from this unfair and unworkable law.”

She also expressed skepticism that the government could even adequately pull off the income verification requirement in the deal.

“Simply requiring income verification for subsidies for Obamacare is a hollow plan,” Martin said. “If this requirement is enforced with the same effectiveness as the Obamacare online rollout, then there is no way this information will actually be verified.”

Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, McConnell said of the deal: “This is far less than many of us had hoped for. But it’s far better than what some had sought.”

But McConnell suggested conservatives should be happy with it because it protects the government spending reductions under the Budget Control Act.

“That’s been a top priority for me and my Republican colleagues throughout this debate,” the Kentucky Republican said. “And it’s been worth the effort.”

Follow Alex on Twitter