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POLITICS: PennAve

Conservative groups say GOP leaders 'surrendered' on deal to end shutdown, raise debt ceiling

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Outside conservative groups have denounced a Senate-brokered deal to reopen shuttered federal agencies and raise the debt ceiling ahead of a Thursday deadline, accusing House Republican leaders of selling out for accepting the measure.

With the House and Senate scheduled to vote on the bill late Wednesday, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks and Club for Growth — groups that have pushed hard for any deal to include measures to stop Obamacare — have urged lawmakers to buck their leadership and reject the bill.

"Republican leadership has completely lost its way," said FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe. "Not only is this proposal a full surrender, it’s a complete surrender with presents for the Democrats."

The deal, announced late Wednesday morning, would fund the partially shuttered federal government until Jan. 15 and raise the debt ceiling through Feb. 7. It leaves the Affordable Care Act virtually untouched despite weeks of fighting by conservatives to defund or delay the new health care law.

Kibbe accused Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., of capitulating to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid while negotiating the deal with the Nevada Democrat.

"Apparently Mitch McConnell’s idea of a 'compromise' is to increase the debt limit, fully fund a broken health care law and promise talks of increasing spending down the road," he said.

Heritage Action, which some say helped orchestrate — or at least significantly fuel — House Republican resistance to past deals that didn't include a path to stop President Obama's health care law, said the bill "will do absolutely nothing to help Americans who are negatively impacted by Obamacare."

"Premiums will continue to skyrocket, cancellation notices will still arrive in the mail, employers will continue reducing hours and bureaucrats will continue reaching deeper and deeper into our health care decisions," the group said.

The Club for Growth warned lawmakers that a vote for the bill would hurt their rating in the group's 2013 "congressional scorecard," adding the score "will be distributed to our members and to the public."

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Sean Lengell

Congressional Correspondent
The Washington Examiner