Republican Congressman Tries To Walk Back Calling The House GOP Budget A ‘Joke’

Rep. Connie Mack IV (R-FL)

Rep. Connie Mack IV (R-FL), who is running for the Senate, strongly criticized the House Republican budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) this weekend.

At a Tea Party forum in Orlando, Mack explained why he didn’t vote on the Ryan budget. “I was here in Florida campaigning,” Mack said. “You know that budget was a joke, doesn’t balance the budget for years.”

His campaign is already trying to walk back the claim, saying Mack was merely criticizing the budget process, not the budget’s substance. “He supports they Ryan plan but the process is a joke when the GOP House continues to do the right things and the liberal Senate….continues to kill fiscally responsible measures,” spokesman David James said. But that seems very difficult to square with what Mack actually said.

And while the Florida congressman will likely be pilloried by fellow Republicans, as presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was when he called Ryan’s budget “right-wing social engineering” last year, Mack is right. The GOP budget doesn’t actually balance the budget. In fact, it makes the debt worse. “[D]eficits would never drop below 4.4 percent of GDP, and would rise to more than 5 percent of GDP by 2022,” Center for American Progress Tax and Budget Policy Director Michael Linden noted.