Republicans gave Trump no choice on debt limit deal, Freedom Caucus leader says

  • President Donald Trump speaks during a rally Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, in Huntington, W.Va. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Darron Cummings

Bloomberg News
Sunday, September 10, 2017

WASHINGTON — Rep. Jim Jordan, co-founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, doesn’t blame President Donald Trump for striking a deal with Democratic leaders that the Ohio Republican considers bad for taxpayers. Jordan, on “Fox News Sunday,” instead blames his party’s leaders for not presenting Trump with better options, forcing Trump to accept a three-month extension of government funding and the debt limit with no attachments.

“Frankly, what options did the president have in front of him?” Jordan said.

The Republican conference hadn’t even discussed the debt limit until Wednesday morning, Jordan said. Speaker Paul Ryan’s leadership team made a mistake by breaking for the traditional long August recess without a plan to address the debt limit, Jordan said.

“When you fail to prepare, you get a bad outcome. And that’s what happened here,” Jordan said. “Unfortunately, there wasn’t any good option presented to him.”

Trump’s deal puts House conservatives in a tough position: unable to praise the move, but wary of criticizing the president directly for fear of blowback from his loyal base. Unlike congressional Republican leaders, Trump remains popular among Republican voters, especially in solidly Republican districts such as Jordan’s in northwest Ohio.

Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made no secret of not wanting the three-month extension; they pushed for a longer-term agreement.