Furious Freedom Caucus vows to scuttle debt deal

The reason Republicans are angry is that they just sterilized their chamber for the rest of this term in Congress. Here are the known details, copy-pasting much of myself from last night:

  • Non-defence discretionary spending is only up 1% this year. Non-enforceable caps on credits after 2024. .
  • IRS funding to fight tax evaders redirected to national programs to avoid cuts. This affects $10 billion of the $80 billion originally allocated. Republicans had tried to gut the entire program in their original debt bill. [Update: Republican Rep. Chip Roy says it’s only $1.9 billion in cuts, so might be even better for us.]
  • New work requirements for food assistance (a GOP request), raising the age of nondependent recipients to 54, from 49, exempting veterans and the homeless. Republicans had attempted to extend those requirements to other programs under McCarthy’s “red lines.”
  • Medicaid was not affected. The GOP budget recently passed additional work requirements for this program (and others) as well.
  • Student loan debt relief was not affected. It had been a huge Republican priority, because hurting people is their only reason for existing.
  • Also pushing back on Republican cuts to Social Security, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act and, surprisingly to me, the climate provisions of the Cut Inflation Act (Republicans Really wanted to empty them)
  • The agreement lasts two years, beyond the next presidential election. It’s a huge deal, undermining Republican efforts to crash the economy just before the 2024 election, allowing them to try and blame President Joe Biden for the chaos.

Oh, and another thing, this deal replaces the appropriations process for this year and next, removing yet another hostage from the Republican Party’s toolbox. For a House caucus dreaming of austere and severe government cuts, this is a devastating fizzle.

None of this is good for us, of course, but we lost the Chamber to a bunch of nihilists. We were going to lose all of that and probably more in the budget negotiations later this year anyway. The deal ensures the cuts won’t be as deep as Republicans had hoped, while taking a dangerous weapon away from them ahead of the 2024 election.

We can argue that Biden should not have gotten into this battle when the 14th Amendment seems as clear cut as it is. But invoking it would have caused the markets to crash (they hate “uncertainty”), and that economic uncertainty would have lasted through the legal process, only to end up before an ultra-conservative, hyper-partisan Supreme Court.

It’s a shitty precedent, of course, but then again, all those cuts would have happened anyway. These are relatively shallow cuts, and now Republicans cannot seek even deeper cuts for the duration of this Congress. Our job is to make sure we win next year, get our trifecta back, and eliminate the debt limit altogether.

And if you’re wondering, “Is Kos full of shit, and trying to sell us a shit sandwich?” Well, look at the muted Democratic reaction, compared to the Republicans.

This is MAGA Rep. Chip Roy analyze the case:

1) The debt ceiling is set at 01/01/2025 – which means an unknown increase in debt – but $4 trillion is a good estimate…

2) The debt ceiling “agreement” totally removes the $131 billion in cuts to bring bureaucracy back to pre-COVID levels in favor of what appears to be effectively stable spending (down or up a little) – at the inflated level of expenses of the Omnibus 2023, blocked in emergency in December…

3) “Deal” Debt Cap Drops Medicaid Work Requirements

4) The deal drops our repeal of the so-called Tax Credit Gift Inflation Reduction Act — which Goldman Sachs says costs $1.2 trillion. [Climate provisions]

… The deal abandons the inclusion of the very powerful anti-regulatory REINS Act (which we also just pushed through the House Judiciary) in favor of a relatively toothless and/or waiveable form of administrative compensation …

… The deal abandons a complete repeal of Biden’s illegal student loan bailouts – forcing only a restart on a small number while leaving over $400 billion in loan forgiveness in place and nullifying our constitutional duty to the court…

… Deal maintains full $80 billion expansion of the IRS and the 87,000 employees it funds to target the poor/minorities 3-5 times more – except for $1.9 billion for this year… [This is different than the $10B cut others are saying are in the deal]

… The deal recovers the remaining $29 billion of uncommitted COVID funding that is being used in budget games …

…does nothing for the border. Does nothing about gun straps. Does nothing about presidential excesses. And in many ways kills our influence to get them through the credits process…

I tell you, losing their ability to push for more pain through the credits process is a brutal loss for them. The resulting anti-McCarthy fury is glorious.


The hysteria is unbelievable, just like they call it a “surrender” to Biden.


It’s funny how they lost to a guy they claim was “sleepy” and senile.


Really curious to see what the final numbers are on IRS funding, because if Roy is right, then it’s even less of a loss than imagined. Reports indicated $10 billion of the $80 billion affected. Roy says only $1.9 billion cut. It’s a big difference.

Either way, it’s a great opportunity to troll conservatives:

Here’s Trump’s former budget director:


The Rules Committee, which has 13 members, decides which bills go to the House floor. It looks like the three holes are more than made up for by the four Democrats on the committee, but I’m not particularly familiar with parliamentary rules and procedures.

Equally interesting, with the Freedom Caucus filing a motion to leave the President’s office, stripping McCarthy of his gavel? There will definitely be fireworks this week.

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