Sen. Roberts Opposes New Budget But Not Enough For GOP Challenger

By: Nick Viviani
By: Nick Viviani

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts has announced he'll vote against a bipartisan budget deal, but the Kansas Republican's primary opponent says Roberts should have spoken up earlier.

Roberts said Wednesday that he doesn't think the deal tackles major fiscal problems and represents only more taxing and spending. The deal was crafted by Republican House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Democratic Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray of Washington.

Roberts's comments came shortly after GOP primary opponent Milton Wolf called on the senator to vote against the package. Wolf began criticizing a possible deal last week, when it was still being negotiated.

Wolf said Roberts hasn't been vocal enough.

But Roberts' executive campaign manager Leroy Towns said Kansans expect their senator to study legislation before criticizing it.

Meanwhile, a national conservative group has endorsed challenger Wolf in his campaign against Roberts in the Kansas Republican primary.

Wolf received the endorsement from the Senate Conservatives Fund. The political action committee was founded by former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint.

Wolf is a Leawood radiologist and is running against Roberts as a tea party candidate. He's criticized Roberts on budget, tax and health care issues and sees the endorsement as helping him build momentum.

Roberts' executive campaign manager Leroy Towns said Wednesday that the endorsement of Wolf isn't surprising, because DeMint's PAC has been endorsing challengers against incumbent GOP senators.

Roberts has the backing of most of Kansas' elected Republican officials and key groups such as Kansans for Life and the Kansas State Rifle Association.

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