It sounded almost too good to be true when we told you Tuesday night that Democrats and Republicans had agreed on a federal budget without driving the nation to the edge of fiscal disaster.
On Wednesday, some conservative groups came out against the deal, but that drew a rare public rebuke from the Republican leadership.What made Republican leaders so angry is that once again these powerful outside groups were once again urging Republicans to vote against a fragile compromise that had been worked out by a party standard bearer, who in this case happens to be a possible presidential candidate in 2015. "We feel very good at where we are with our members," said Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Committee on the Budget.
Ryan met behind closed doors today with his fellow House Republicans. He is working to sell them on a two-year spending deal that cuts the deficit by far less than they'd like -- just $23 billion over 10 years.
But after a bruising government shutdown fight two months ago, many conservatives said they are ready to compromise. They are characterizing the deal as a small step in the right direction, a positive step forward and an agreement that they should support.That puts them at odds with groups that raise millions of dollars for conservative candidates.
The Club for Growth said the plan was made up of "budgetary smoke and mirrors."
Heritage Action called the deal "a step backwards."
And both vowed to hold Republicans accountable for their votes.
That touched a nerve with Republican House Speaker John Boehner.Asked about the opposition, Boehner said: "You mean the groups that came out and opposed it before they ever saw it?"
"They're using our members and they're using the American people for their own goals," he said. "This is ridiculous. Listen, if you're for more deficit reduction, you're for this agreement."
That frustration has been building for
a while among Republican leaders who say these influential groups have been pushing Conservatives
to sink deal after deal. It doesn't look like that's going to happen when this comes to a vote tomorrow and
many Senate Democrats say they will back the plan too.