WASHINGTON -- Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) threw his party under the bus on Friday for failing to cut government spending in the past two years -- a vow that many freshman Republicans had made when they were elected.
The House on Thursday passed a temporary spending measure that keeps the government funded at current levels for the next six months. Gohmert was one of a few conservatives to oppose the continuing resolution (CR), which hikes spending by $19 billion -- from $1.028 trillion to $1.047 trillion -- over the House-passed 2013 budget.
"I left brokenhearted over that," Gohmert told conservative radio host Glenn Beck of Thursday's vote.
"That CR, continuing spending at the same level, means that after the biggest wave election since the 1930s -- 87 conservative freshmen come in -- that means we will have gone two years with this great group of freshmen, the new majority, and have cut nothing. How can you feel good about that?" Gohmert asked.
Beck specifically called out Reps. Paul Ryan (Wis.), the GOP vice presidential nominee, and Allen West (Fla.) for voting to pass the spending bill. He praised Gohmert for going against the grain.
"Representative Louie Gohmert from Texas, one of the only guys" who voted against the package, Beck said. "You're holding the line."
To be sure, the measure was a bitter pill for many other Republicans. They largely voted for it because it averts a government shutdown at the end of September and punts a larger budget concern -- averting the start of more than $1.2 trillion in automatic, across-the-board spending cuts -- into next year.
After Thursday's vote, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) expressed sympathy for first-term Republicans who came into office promising to cut spending and didn't deliver.
"I have felt very sorry for the 87 freshman Republicans who came in here and pledged not to vote for the debt ceiling, pledged to cut spending," King said, via U.S. News & World Report. "The cohesiveness of those 87 was fractured over time and they got scattered across the political spectrum. It was predictable, but it happened sooner than it needed to in my view."
Besides West, other freshman Republicans who supported the continuing resolution included Reps. Steve Southerland (Fla.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Frank Guinta (N.H.), Steve Stivers (Ohio), Robert Dold (Ill.), Sean Duffy (Wis.) and Robert Hurt (Va.).
UPDATE: House Appropriations Committee spokeswoman Jennifer Hing told The Huffington Post that Gohmert is wrong, both about the CR and this Congress' spending record in general.
The CR cuts more than $26.6 billion in spending compared to last year, Hing said. She broke down the numbers: The difference between the fiscal 2012 total, $1.180 trillion, and the fiscal 2013 CR total, $1.153 trillion, is equal to a cut of about $26.7 billion.
In terms of the current Congress' spending record, Hing mapped out base-level spending for each of the last three years. It was $1.091 trillion in fiscal 2010, $1.050 trillion in fiscal 2011 and $1.043 trillion in fiscal 2012. That leaves a total accumulated cut of about $50 billion.
Referring to the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget, Hing said, "These are CBO-scored numbers, which OMB agrees with."
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