President Trump lashed out at Democrats over the bipartisan spending bills currently making their way through Congress, and demanded that Republicans do more to ensure greater funding for border security, particularly for his proposed border wall with Mexico.
“I want to know, where is the money for Border Security and the WALL in this ridiculous Spending Bill, and where will it come from after the Midterms? Dems are obstructing Law Enforcement and Border Security,” he said in a tweet on Thursday morning. “REPUBLICANS MUST FINALLY GET TOUGH!”
The comments came two days after the Senate passed an appropriations package, the second “minibus” passed this month. The bill aimed to boost spending for the next fiscal year for the Defense Department, medical research and the opioid crisis, and it funded other departments through Dec. 7 to avoid a government shutdown before the midterm elections. The House is expected to take up the bill next week, according to a Republican aide.
Appropriations for departments that haven’t yet been funded through the appropriations process, such as the Department of Homeland Security, were extended through a so-called continuing resolution, effectively pushing back fights that Republicans want to avoid before the midterms, including the president’s demand for funding for a border wall with Mexico, one of his top campaign platforms.
On Twitter on Thursday, the president appeared unsatisfied with that solution.
The White House didn’t immediately clarify whether the president was opposed to the bipartisan bill that the Senate passed on Tuesday, or to the broader spending framework.
On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump had vowed to make Mexico fund the border wall, something the current and incoming Mexican presidents have vehemently objected to.
Lawmakers are still negotiating agreements on a third spending bill, to fund the departments of Interior, Treasury, Agriculture, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development.
The Congressional kabuki over the FY2019 federal budget is continuing unabated.
Finally, President Trump is starting to raise significant questions about the actions of the GOP Congressional leadership and their embracing of a ‘bipartisan’ deal to fund the government until after the Midterm election (to Dec. 7, 2018).
Despite Speaker Paul Ryan’s ‘victory lap’ last week claiming that under his leadership, the GOP Congress has finally broken the decade plus long practice of ‘Omnibus’ spending bills and continuing resolutions, the GOP continues to embrace the irresponsible and broken budget processes of the Democrats.
The ‘Omnibus’ bill funding all discretionary spending has morphed into several ‘Minibus’ bills, funding 2 to 4 departments and agencies. Continuing resolutions remain a tool as does only funding part of the fiscal year so that a budget ‘fight’ can be punted down the road a little longer.
Simply, nothing has changed despite a GOP Majority Congress in 2015 and 2017.
Last week, when the first of the ‘Minibus’ bills were passed, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted that the President was willing to sign these temporary spending bills in order to avoid a budget fight and possible government shutdown during the Midterm election season.
From his tweet, it appears that the President, in words at least, is pushing back on Congress for not fulfilling the GOP promises regarding budgets and spending, but also for not fully funding key elements of the Trump agenda including increased border security and a wall on the southern border.
One has to wonder what the motivations of the GOP leadership, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are with the brinkmanship they are embracing on prior to the Midterm in November. Or with the blatant lies regarding breaking the habit of not doing regular process federal spending budgets? Add to this the deliberate exclusion of key Presidential budget requests, and its difficult to look at what’s happening other than a direct slap to the face of Donald Trump and the base who elected him.
Are they expecting the President to fold and sign another insulting and irresponsible bill as he did last March? Or are they trying to provoke the President to veto knowing that because of their craven ‘bipartisan’ deal with the Democrats (which they obviously won all they sought), Congress has the votes to override a veto?
Are Ryan and McConnell daring the Trump base to once again vote for the ‘lesser of two evils’ or do they still believe that they and their neo-progressive ‘Better Way’ agenda were the real winners in November 2016?
We can’t even dismiss, based on their actions, that perhaps they don’t want to hold onto the House in order to send a message to the ‘populist’ President and his base as to whom really has power in this country?
Given their rush to make budget deals, where the Democrats and their spend spend spend mantra are the clear winners, and therefore reward the Democrats for doing all they could the past year to obstruct and resist the President, the GOP Congress is figuratively doing to Donald Trump what the Roman Senate did to Julius Caesar.
Et tu Paul? Et tu Mitch?
McConnell and Ryan seem to believe that as long as they fight for constitutionalist judges, the GOP / Trump base will forgive and forget about their other lies, betrayals, and broken promises. That one good deed offsets the far greater bad deeds.
They are betting we’re (President Trump and his base) are not going to fight them now. That they can always make us back down because the risks to opposing them are too high.
There can be no doubt, the GOPe is fighting this President and his base, far harder and far more resolutely than they ever fought the hard left 44th President and his fundamental transformation agenda.
The stakes are as high as they can be.
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