Washington (CNN) - In a highly visible setback for fiscal conservatives in the House, many Republicans joined the majority in rejecting an additional $22 billion in budget cuts after heated interparty debate.
The Republicans' free-wheeling and open approach to debate over a resolution to fund the government offered insight into disagreements within the party that played out on the House floor Friday. The head of the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC), Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, authored an amendment that would have cut 5.5 percent from non-security funding across-the-board-slashing $22 billion more than the $60 billion the GOP leadership already had committed to cutting. The measure failed 147 to 281, with 92 Republicans and all Democrats voting against it.
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, had earlier encouraged members to build on the billions in cuts they had already voted to support.
"House conservatives believe we can do more," he said. "Let's do more. Let's do $22 billion more. Let's under-promise, over-deliver and set this nation back on a pathway toward fiscal responsibility and reforms."
But some Republicans had echoed Democratic concerns the cuts were haphazard and went too far. House GOP leaders Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, and California Republican Kevin McCarthy voted against the measure, but Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas voted for it. Speaker John Boehner did not vote, as is traditional for the speaker.
"Across-the-board cuts are lazy members' way to achieve something," said Rep. Dan Lungren, R-California, a member of the RSC.
Idaho Republican Mike Simpson, a senior member of the Appropriations committee, defended the level of the cuts in the overall bill and said the committee's approach to look at each agency separately was preferable to across the board cuts.
"This goes too far," Simpson said.
California Democratic Rep. Sam Farr said the bill was indiscriminate and ineffective.
"What you're seeing with this amendment is you're taking a meat axe to essentially a bloody mess," he said. "If we really wanted to deal with debt, you deal with a plan to get rid of debt, not just with a hacking and hacking away."
Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Florida, told his colleagues that while he was new to Congress, he was not new to fiscal responsibility. He faulted those opposing the $22 billion in cuts for not taking reform seriously.
"You know, I hear the word 'meat axe' and 'draconian,'" Southerland said. "What's 'draconian' and 'meat axe' is leaving every American in this country with $43,000 of national debt."