Exclusive: Powerful House Republican group opposes Trump debt ceiling deal

Evan Vucci / AP

The leadership of the Republican Study Committee is coming out against President Trump's debt ceiling deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, RSC Chair Mark Walker outlines 19 ideas for spending cuts that would help secure more Republican votes on a debt limit hike.

Why it matters: This is a strong message from the leadership of the largest caucus of House Republicans — and the conservative weight of the conference — that a debt ceiling deal which doesn't chart a course for changing the country's debt trajectory, is unacceptable. It's the strongest collective message we've seen from Republicans on Trump's deal. The Trump-Schumer-Pelosi deal is likely to pass with more votes from Democrats than Republicans.

Top quote: "While some have advocated for a 'clean' debt limit increase, this would simply increase the borrowing authority of the government while irresponsibly ignoring the urgency of reforms. Worse yet is attaching the debt limit to legislation that continues the status quo or even worsens the trajectory on spending, such as the deal announced yesterday by the President and Congressional Leadership. The RSC Steering Committee opposes this proposal."

One thing to note: The Republican Study Committee, which has 155 members, doesn't vote as a bloc, but this is a tough message for the president and one the Republican leadership - which strenuously opposed Trump's surprise deal - fully anticipated.

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