Details are beginning to emerge of the backroom deal Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) made with some in his conference to win the speakership early Saturday morning on the 15th ballot. According to reports, the deal includes freezing spending at fiscal year 2022 levels, which would mean about an 8% cut from the current fiscal year’s budget.

But Republican lawmakers insist that is unlikely to come from the defense side of the budget.

“We need to balance our budget — absolutely, I 100% agree with that,” Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told CQ. “But we’re not going to do that on the backs of our troops.”

Spending caps – on defense or non-defense spending – are sure to be a point of contention with the Democratic-controlled Congress, leading to showdowns that could slow down budget, appropriations and debt ceiling talks.

Reuters photo by Evelyn Hockstein