South Carolina's U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan calls budget deal 'crap'

The Post and Courier by Emma Dumain

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan didn't mince words Monday responding to the bipartisan deal to fund the federal government through September, calling the more than $1 trillion spending bill "crap."

In a Facebook posting, the conservative Republican from the South Carolina Upstate lambasted a GOP he said is failing to assert itself by insisting on funding President Donald Trump's border wall and opposing abortion.

"When Republicans (moderates) hide from the shadow of a government shutdown and fail to stand firm, when we have House, Senate and the White House, to defund the murder and dismemberment of babies in the womb, fund border security and defund cities which are in direct violation of Federal Immigration laws, well we get crap like this latest ... government funding 'Deal,'" Duncan wrote.

He added "I don't support it."

Duncan, of Laurens and who represents the 3rd Congressional District, is not alone in the South Carolina congressional delegation in having problems with the bill that others in Washington hailed as needed to avoid a government shutdown Friday.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told reporters in Greenville on Monday said he was going to "withhold" support for the measure until he secures an extension of federal tax credits designed for new nuclear power projects being built in the state.

Jimmy Addison, executive vice president and chief financial officer of SCANA Corp., said last week the extension of the tax credits could determine whether the V.C. Summer nuclear plant is completed in the wake of Westinghouse Electricity's bankruptcy filing.

It's not likely that Duncan, Graham or any other Capitol Hill holdouts will get their way in derailing the agreement unless there is so much opposition to various parts of the whole that final passage Friday becomes untenable without making major changes. This measure was painstakingly negotiated between the two majority parties late Sunday, with the blessing of the White House, and designed specifically to avert a government shutdown after just narrowly dodging one last week.

Republicans promise that when September rolls around — that's when the full fiscal 2018 spending plan is due — they won't be so accommodating of Democrats and will push hard to take as many conservative stands as possible, from funding the border wall to slashing spending, including for foreign aid and the Environmental Protection Agency.

In the meantime, the GOP is claiming credit for forcing Democrats to boost military spending after trying to "hamstring" it in era of President Barack Obama.

The measure also contains several provisions that directly benefit the Palmetto State.

In the current legislation, nearly two dozen states exploring medical marijuana programs — including South Carolina — would be permitted to implement such programs without federal interference.