“Because of [the] hurricane relief, there wasn’t a whole lot of options. When you look at this you either had an 18-month clean debt limit, or you had what was agreed to, a three-month clean debt limit. When given two bad options, you can’t be too critical of anybody, but I can tell you what it was. Our grassroots are very confused,” Mr. Meadows, North Carolina Republican, said on MSNBC.
Mr. Trump cut a deal with Democrats on Wednesday that provided funding for Tropical Storm Harvey clean-up efforts as well as a three-month extension of the debt ceiling. Republicans had originally pushed for an 18-month extension to give them more time to focus on the president’s tax-reform legislation.
Mr. Meadows, chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, said that while some in their grassroots efforts are confused by the president’s behavior, those in Congress expect him to work with those of differing ideologies as they have tried to do.
“The only thing that has passed the House was actually something that was worked on with moderate members [and] with the Freedom Caucus. Tom MacArthur and I coming together to put something forward that we passed out of the House,” he said.
Mr. MacArthur, New Jersey Republican, is a former co-chairman of the Tuesday Group, a moderate group of Republicans. He resigned from his post earlier this year as many in the caucus criticized him for working on a compromise with conservative members during the health care debate.
Mr. Meadows argued that Americans don’t care who the president works with or even who the leaders of the party are, but they want to see more accomplished in Congress.
“We’ve got about two to three months to make real decisions. I believe the speaker is up to the task. I know the members of the Freedom Caucus and the Tuesday Group and every group in between is willing to work with him on that. But we have to do that and make sure that we put things on the president’s desk,” he said. “If we don’t get it done, we’re all going to be sent home.”
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