Congress touts budget deal as Trump advocates for government shutdown
President Trump expressed frustration that passing a bill in Congress needs 60 votes in the Senate because of the filibuster, arguing it would be necessary to elect more Republicans or “change the rules now to 51%.”
“Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!” President Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2017
either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good "shutdown" in September to fix mess!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2017
The tweet comes after Congress reached a compromise to avoid a government shutdown on Sunday and fund the government through September 30.
Democrats seized on Trump’s comments to fire back at the president, saying there is no such thing as a “good government shutdown.”
Representative Keith Ellison (D, Minnesota) judged Trump's threat as peak "over a wall nobody wants."
TRUMP IS THREATENING TO SHUT DOWN HIS OWN GOVERNMENT OVER A WALL NOBODY WANTS https://t.co/9K4DOy6mJl— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) May 2, 2017
Senator Bob Casey (D, Pennsylvania) is incredulous at "a sitting president advocating for a shutdown"
Rep. Dan Kildee (D, Michigan) said the last shutdown cost the US taxpayer $24 billion. "Now President Trump wants to shut government down again; may you pay. SAD!"
Senator Michael Bennett (D, Colorado) reminded his followers that the last government shutdown lead to workers sent home without pay and labs were closed.
During 2013 shutdown in CO, 53,000 workers sent home w/o pay. 30 labs closed. $24 billion lost. There’s no such thing as a “good shutdown.” https://t.co/L0Cl2BVTbV— Michael F. Bennet (@SenBennetCO) May 2, 2017
Representative Adam Schiff (D, California), Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee said the only thing that would be unaffected by a government shutdown would be "golf at Mar-a-lago."
How could a shutdown be good, with parks closed, gov't services unavailable and people furloughed? Answer: Golf at Mar-a-lago unaffected. pic.twitter.com/wUxImQJfUq— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 2, 2017
On Monday, in an interview with Bloomberg News, Trump said "We're very happy with it" and he did not want to see a shutdown, at least not this month.
“Both sides agree, we have to keep government going, we don’t want to shut government,” Trump told Bloomberg News.
“We’ll have more of these to discuss in the future,” he said of the budget deal.
The White House has tried to spin the budget deal as a victory, but the president’s comments suggest frustration.
In the 1,665-page bill, Trump did secure a military spending increase of 15 percent, though it is less than he expected. The bill does not fund a wall on the US-Mexico border and preserves funding for Planned Parenthood, a women’s health care service that provides abortions.
There were also no cuts in federal funds to so-called ‘sanctuary cities.’
The White House also backed off a threat to withhold Obamacare subsidy payments to insurance companies.
Congress is poised this week to approve the deal – the first major bipartisan legislation of Trump’s presidency.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told reporters on Monday that President Donald Trump would sign a spending bill that avoids a government shutdown when he receives it on Thursday or Friday.
The businessman-turned-president has vented frustration with the slow pace of work on Capitol Hill.
“I’m disappointed that it doesn’t go quicker,” Trump told Fox News last week when asked about the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The comments are likely to irk top Republican lawmakers, who have been frustrated by Trump’s repeated attempts to intervene in the legislative process.