WASHINGTON (AP) Republicans rode the tea party wave to power eight years ago on a message of fiscal responsibility and attacking budget deficits. That was then.
On Thursday, the Republican-led Congress was rounding up support for a bipartisan budget bill that would put the government on track for annual deficits topping $1 trillion. Such a gap was last seen during the 2008 recession.
The projection for massive budget deficits has split Republicans.
Dedicated fiscal conservatives criticized the plan. Others accepted it as a necessary compromise, in part to keep the government running.
Republican Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina says the GOP could be seen as hypocritical: It criticized the national debt while Democrat Barack Obama was president, but is adding to it now that Republicans have total control.