Johnson to oppose CR. Is the budget deal in jeopardy?

Wisconsin freshman Sen. Ron Johnson, a conservative Tea Party favorite, announced this morning that he will vote against Friday's deal between House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama and congressional Democrats on a continuing resolutiuon to complete fiscal year 2011.

“I made a commitment to support the House in its pledge to cut $100 billion from the budget – a budget that should have been passed last year, when Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress and the presidency. I did so because I believe it was important to take that first step in enacting real spending cuts,” Johnson said in his statement.

“This is the first CR that does not achieve that level of spending reduction. As a result, I will vote no when this CR comes before the Senate,” he said.

Johnson also used the occasion to describe the steps he will support to get federal spending under permanent control:

“We can do better; we must do better. In order to get the economy growing again we must limit the size, scope, and cost of the federal government,” he said.

“The first step is to establish very hard spending caps. My preference is a constitutional limit on spending married with an identical legislative spending limitation. Once the spending caps are established, then the hard work of prioritizing spending under those caps must begin.”

Perhaps with President Obama's recent remark about the need for an “adult conversation” on the budget issue, Johnson added that “I stand ready to work with anyone willing to seriously address these issues.”

I don't have any hard vote counts, but there is a gut feeling in some quarters today that the Boehner-Obama deal could be in bigger trouble than anybody realizes.

Beltway ConfidentialCongressSenateUS

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