After backing $1.5 trillion tax cuts, these GOP lawmakers are suddenly concerned about the debt

These legislators are blasting their party's omnibus spending bill for increasing the federal budget deficit.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH)
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) on Thursday. CREDIT: Fox News screenshot.

Despite years of tough talk about balanced budgets, the Republican majority in the House and Senate rammed through a massive tax cut for the rich in December that their own analysis showed would increase the deficit by more than $1 trillion. Now, many of the lawmakers who voted for that are suddenly concerned about the debt again and say they will oppose their own party’s omnibus spending bill because it will increase the debt by a similar amount.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a self described “fiscal conservative” who co-founded the House Freedom Caucus, voted for the 2017 tax cut and argued that it should not be revenue-neutral. On Thursday, he said his party’s spending bill “may be the worst bill I’ve seen in my time in Congress, the worst bill our leadership’s ever allowed to come to the floor.” He highlighted the bill’s $1.3 trillion price tag, “which will lead to a trillion dollar deficit.”

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Jordan was in good company.

Rep. Tom Garrett (R-VA) called the bill an “#omnibust” and attacked it for “adding over 1 Trillion of debt.” In December, he backed the tax cuts as the “most transformational tax overhaul since I had a full head of hair and weighed 120 pounds.”

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), who called the December passage of the tax law a “momentous day for America,” tweeted a statement from the Freedom Caucus (which he chairs), urging opposition to the omnibus based on the principle of “fiscal responsibility.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who voted for the tax cut despite wanting an even larger one, called his party’s handling of the omnibus a “rotten, terrible, no good way to run your government,” and slammed others in the GOP for causing the same “trillion dollar annual deficits” for which he had criticized Barack Obama.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), who enthusiastically voted for the tax cuts (though admitting it might not “usher in heaven“), decried the omnibus for adding “1.3 TRILLION $ to your debt like it’s no big deal.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) “proudly” voted for the December tax bill, but in a Facebook post called the “latest swamp monstrosity” a “disaster on every level” and an act of “fiscal recklessness.”

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It’s not just members of Congress. The Heritage Foundation, one of the most influential conservative think-tanks, said the bill “disregards the unstable fiscal path that the country is on in favor of more deficit spending, welcoming back trillion dollar deficits for the foreseeable future.” The group did not acknowledge its own role in pushing for the tax cuts that caused that “unstable fiscal path” to begin with.

The House is reportedly expected to take up the bill on Thursday or Friday.