In keeping with a sharp pivot underway among Republicans, U.S. Representative Mark Meadows, speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation," drew a hard line on federal spending, which lawmakers are bracing to do battle over in January.
When they return from the holidays on Wednesday, lawmakers will begin trying to pass a federal budget in a fight likely to be linked to other issues, such as immigration policy, even as the November congressional election campaigns approach in which Republicans will seek to keep control of Congress.
President Donald Trump and his Republicans want a big budget increase in military spending, while Democrats also want proportional increases for non-defense "discretionary" spending on programs that support education, scientific research, infrastructure, public health and environmental protection.
"The (Trump) administration has already been willing to say: 'We're going to increase non-defense discretionary spending ... by about 7 percent,'" Meadows, chairman of the small but influential House Freedom Caucus, said on the program.
"Now, Democrats are saying that's not enough, we need to give the government a pay raise of 10 to 11 percent. For a fiscal conservative, I don't see where the rationale is. ... Eventually, you run out of other people's money," he said.
Meadows was among Republicans who voted in late December for their party's debt-financed tax overhaul, which is expected to balloon the federal budget deficit and add about $1.5 trillion over 10 years to the $20 trillion national debt.