Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican who serves as the Senate’s unofficial watchdog, panned the budget package that congressional negotiators unveiled that would restore some of the previously agreed-to spending cuts, force federal employees to pay more into their pensions and raises airlines fees.
Mr. Coburn said he is “real disappointed in the deal.”
“It is not anything I could support,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We are going to raise spending back up because the political powers that be want to spend more money rather than be responsible with what we know needs to be done up here, which is hard work eliminating all the stupidity, fraud and duplication that is going on.”
House and Senate budget negotiators — Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray — outlined their compromise in a joint press conference Tuesday on Capitol Hill. The deal funds government programs through 2015, but does not address the long-term increases in mandatory spending, which automatically rises based on formulas.
The agreement sets aside $1.012 trillion for the rest of fiscal year 2014, which is more than the $967 billion that was included in the 2011 Budget Control Act and championed by Republicans. Democrats had sought $1.058 trillion.
Under the deal, non-mandatory spending would then climb to $1.014 trillion in fiscal 2015, bringing the total amount of sequester relief to $63 billion.
Mr. Ryan and Mrs. Murray said the agreement provides $23 billion in long-term deficit reduction, which is considered a modest amount considering the nation’s soaring $17 trillion national debt.
Mr. Coburn tried to cut Mr. Ryan some slack on the deal, saying the Wisconsin Republican was given a task to strike a compromise deal and he did just that.
“He has led to make a compromise that sells out what actually needs to be done,” he said. “He was told to lead a compromise. A compromise is going to give up your principles.”