GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said Friday that Republicans got nothing out of the $1.14 trillion spending bill that Congress passed because "we’ve got a very weak leadership going on in the House and Senate.
"I’m sorry, I thought they were going to do better, but I’m ashamed of them," the former Arkansas governor told "The Hugh Hewitt Show"
in an interview. "I’m mad at them.
"I just felt like that they capitulated on virtually everything of great substance," he said.
"Basically, the Democrats had the banquet — and what we got to do was go eat up the crumbs that were left under the table at the feet of the Democrats once they got finished gorging themselves on all the food that [President Barack] Obama wanted."
The spending legislation, which Obama signed into law late Friday, keeps the federal government operating through September.
It combines $1.14 trillion in new spending next year and $680 billion in tax cuts over the coming decade.
The law also fully funds many of President Obama's initiatives, including Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, sanctuary cities, climate change, refugee resettlement programs — and it provides for an increase in foreign-worker visas.
In addition, a 40-year ban on oil exports would be lifted with the law — something long sought by Republicans.
But that's not enough, Huckabee told Hewitt.
"Republicans basically got nothing that said conservatives are the majority in the House and Senate. You can say 'Okay, well, we’re going to export oil.' Well, that's terrific. We should have been doing that anyway.
"The problem is that we don’t have guys who can take it to the president and ever make him negotiate anything," Huckabee added. "We surrender before we ever even have the fight.
"We assume he’s going to veto. He probably will — and we then assume that we’re going to absolutely lose.
"We are going to lose when we don’t have leaders who can go to the president and say: 'You have a line? Well, we have one, too. And if you want to play hardball, then we are going to also play hardball.'
"'We have the power of the purse. You want to veto everything? Fine, we'll defund the White House.'"
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