VIDEO: Chip Roy Holds Impromptu Presser On Budget, And It’s Amazing

This is why we love the House Freedom Caucus. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), who is one of the most articulate and principled conservatives Congress has ever known.

Roy, at the Capitol yesterday, held a press gaggle inside the rotunda and was peppered with questions about something which could become a massive national political mess – the battle over the federal budget, on which something has to be done by October 1 or else there will be a government shutdown.

This video goes a bit under 18 minutes, and it’s one of the more instructive things you’ll watch in illustrating the largely incompatible worldviews between what Angelo Codevilla famously called the “ruling class” and the “country class.”

Roy’s background – he’s a lawyer who has worked for John Cornyn, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and Ken Paxton – would suggest he’s definitely a member of the ruling class. But that certainly isn’t his mentality; if he’s ruling class, he’s a traitor to his class. The way he speaks about the federal government belies a level of contempt that Oliver Anthony, for example, would appreciate. And his message to the reporters surrounding him is that he doesn’t believe conservatives and Republicans on Capitol Hill should be funding a federal government which is actively hostile to their interests.

For example, Roy takes up for Sen. Tommy Tuberville, who is holding up military promotions at the Pentagon while the Department of Defense is busily pushing DEI and Critical Race Theory initiatives rather than military readiness and force cohesion. If the purpose of the U.S. military is to protect the nation, and the people running the military are busy transforming it into something which has no relation to that purpose, it’s a pretty good argument that spending anything on a corrupted military is simply wasted money.

It takes some rather large stones to hold to such a position, because the short and stupid response to it will be that Chip Roy hates the military. But what he’s betting on, and he’s probably not wrong, is that the American people see through the short and stupid response and are now demanding results in putting a stop to the corruption of the military.

Another example: Roy represents a district north of San Antonio which includes a chunk of Austin and most of Texas’ Hill Country. That’s an area which is deeply conservative, and it’s also an area inundated with illegals. There are some 400,000 illegal immigrants now living on the streets of San Antonio alone, in a city with a normal population of some 1.8 million. So in Roy’s district you can imagine the problems towns like Kerrville, New Braunfels and Fredericksburg are having in dealing with the invasion that the Biden administration has shepherded in from the southern border.

So Chip Roy is saying that in order for Congress to agree to spend more money than the federal government takes in, thus running up an ever-larger federal debt, there should be a policy in place to stop illegals from crossing the border into Texas and other states. Funding a federal government which actively assists and encourages illegal immigration would necessarily be a fool’s errand; a government shutdown is better than a fully-funded government which does active damage to American interests.

This is the position of the country class. It is reflected in poll after poll. Americans know that they don’t get value for their federal tax dollar and they know that the federal government is directly contrary to their interests.


Roy recites a rather long list of items that he and his constituents would see excised from the federal budget.

But the reporters’ questions belie membership in the ruling class. Roy is asked again and again about a potential government shutdown in apocalyptic terms, and he’s treated almost as an oddity – as though the mere idea of using budget leverage to extract policy wins for conservatives is unspeakable or illegitimate.

It’s striking.

And the narrative being thrown at Roy is in the way of a threat: if you negotiate hard rather than rubber-stamp a federal budget with a $2 trillion deficit which fulfills all of the Hard Left fantasies of the Biden administration, fantasies most Americans do not support from the standpoint of policy, then the political consequences of doing so will be the loss of the House majority. Roy isn’t impressed by that argument, but it underlies every question he’s asked.

What goes unsaid is that Republicans who don’t at least get something out of the negotiations this month don’t deserve a House majority, and their own voters will likely abandon them if they don’t fight for the interest of their constituents.

We’ll hear a lot about the budget negotiations over the next two weeks. There isn’t much reason to believe Chip Roy’s side will walk away with much in the way of victories. But everything visible in yesterday’s press conference tells you that this current paradigm is unsustainable. It will crash to the earth eventually. And when it does, at least Roy can say “I told you so.”



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