Rep. Mark Meadows on budget deal: "The swamp won and the American taxpayer lost"

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows is slamming the bipartisan budget deal reached in the House and Senate, saying Republican leadership "caved" at the expense of the American taxpayer.   

"The real problem with this particular one is that our leadership caved. The swamp won. And the American taxpayer lost," said Meadows on CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

The group of conservative House members released a statement Wednesday evening, expressing their early opposition to raising spending caps.

"The House Freedom Caucus opposes the deal to raise spending caps on discretionary spending by nearly $300 billion over two years. We support funding for our military, but growing the size of government by 13 percent adds to the swamp instead of draining it. This is not what the American people sent us here to do," the group said in a statement.

"Our original play was to make sure that we funded the military, we kept other spending flat. That's what we passed, and yet what we got put on the House floor just a few hours later was this unbelievable budget deal that spent American taxpayer dollars," Meadows said Sunday. 

President Trump signed the $400 billion budget deal on Friday following a brief government shutdown, ensuring a boost to spending as well as the federal deficit and an extension of the debt ceiling through March 1, 2019. 

Beyond $300 billion increases in military and domestic programs, the deal also adds $89 billion in disaster aid for areas ravaged by hurricanes this past fall. 

While the president hailed the deal as a "win" for the nation's military, Meadows said Mr. Trump was faced with a "binary choice."

"I was expecting him [Trump] to continue to push back on draining the swamp, and but yet, he was given a binary choice: either you support the military and support this particular budget or you don't," said Meadows.

He added, "It was either supporting the military or continuing what I would say the traditions of the Senate. At some point we're going to have to say: 'Mitch McConnell, enough is enough. Fifty-one votes on anything that is of national security interest. It is time that we change this.'"

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital