Everyone is trying to understand why Trump jumped into the debt ceiling/government funding negotiation and cut the deal with Schumer and Pelosi over McConnell and Ryan. It is simple. On Tuesday, The House GOP leader, Kevin McCarthy stated that the RINOs would NOT push to fund Trump’s Border Wall until December. This is after delay after delay by the RINO Leadership, Ryan and McConnell, to keep pushing off approval of Trump’s border security bill. Trump viewed this additional snub as a personal attack, again.
So yesterday, after Ryan and McConnell publicly stated that they would not agree to a debt ceiling hike unless it was for 18 months, use a continuing resolution to fund the government, and not tie anything to the bill, like Harvey Relief, Trump stopped the back and forth bickering between Pelosi-Schumer and McConnell-Ryan by saying that the debt ceiling and government funding would go through December 15th and fully fund his request for Hurricane Harvey relief! Period! His priority was Harvey Funding and the other issues were mere political noise to him!
He later added an additional insult to the GOP leadership by complimenting Schumer and Pelosi by name and merely mentioning that GOP leadership was also at the meeting and agreed to the deal. On Air Force One in route to North Dakota to give his Tax Plan a plug, Trump Said:
“We had a very good meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, we agreed to a three-month extension on debt ceiling, which they consider to be sacred – very important – always we’ll agree on debt ceiling automatically because of the importance of it.” He followed up by saying the GOP Congressional Leadership were also in the meeting!
Step in Trump’s shoes for a moment; he has a major cleanup in Houston to deal with; A new hurricane about to hit Florida; A nut job in North Korea threatening nuclear war; a sabre rattling whack job in Iran threatening retaliation if Trump kills the US-Iran sell-out; A tenuous negotiation with China over trade and NOKO policy; He is still managing the annihilation of ISIS around the world; deploying his new Afghanistan policy; a media who hates him; and the sun is going down on his Tax Plan, Obamacare, and his appointees for 2017. So, to sit there for an hour listening to Ryan, McConnell, Pelosi and Schumer quibble like a bunch of spoiled brats over how and when and how much to increase the debt ceiling, (which is truly non-existent), and arguing for political advantages in terms of timing for how long the debt limit covers, and ignoring the real issue, Harvey Relief, Trump merely had enough.
The Border Wall snub by Ryan and McConnell was just another log on the fire from Trump’s point of view. Every time the media attacks something Trump says, even if the media is dead wrong as they usually are, Ryan and McConnell cannot get to a camera fast enough, usually having to wait for McCain’s bashing of Trump, to distance themselves from the President! Trump is deeply frustrated with the lack of GOP support for his agenda and for him personally after he basically got all of those limp-wrist RINOs elected on his coattails. The chickens are about to come home to roost.
Make no mistake, Trump knows that he will not get support from either the Democrats nor the media. Many of the latter used to be personal friends of Donald and Melania Trump but since the election cycle, they have mercilessly attacked both of them and their family. They oppose him and his agenda. “Resist” is alive and well and the Democrats are too stupid to see the handwriting on the wall.
But, Trump also knows that both Ryan and McConnell’s leadership is shaky at best. He has tried to everything he can to support them and let them carry the ball for his agenda. The problem is that they hate his agenda as his agenda offends their donor class! These two have run away from Trump’s agenda and have at the same time alienated their conservative caucuses. Mark Meadows could challenge Ryan’s leadership in the house but it is unclear who would challenge McConnell in the Senate. There are a lot of “professed” conservatives in the Senate but not too many like Mark Meadows in the House who walk like a duck and quack like a duck.
Trump the Populist-First!
BUT, Trump is not a hard-core conservative nor a hard-core liberal. Trump is a Populist! He will back measures that are in the NATIONAL INTEREST of the nation and its citizens and not merely to adhere to someone’s view of conservatism or liberalism. His America First Trade position is a good example as is immigration. So the conservative caucus in the House and Senate need to understand he will not bend to mere ideology. There has to be a pragmatic benefit to America if he is to embrace it. He sees ideology as a possible barrier to “Make America Great Again”! (Trump’s Trade Doctrine is an example) He definitely sees ideology as a barrier to getting things done in the name of some lofty doctrine. Case in point, the 60 vote filibuster rule in the Senate that is used by Senators to avoid making hard votes and being held accountable.
Trump has some real mine fields to navigate going forward.
- DACA will test his base as he viewed killing DACA and making Congress deal with this to be a Constitutional issue, more than an immigration issue. (Separate Article to Follow) the GOP and the Dems are sure to try to force Trump to sign amnesty for DACA beneficiaries before March 15th. They may even try to tie it to a RINO/McCain/Rubio Gang of Eight amnesty bill.
- Passing Tax Relief and Tax Reform will be a bigger battle within the GOP than Obamacare R&R. Simply, corporate interests (Ryan and McConnell’s constituency) want lower rates but they want to keep all of the carve outs and tax breaks. Dems will not support breaks for evil corporations and the “rich” and will push for more “tax rebates” for those who don’t pay taxes. In the end, the middle-class could end up with the shaft rather than a tax break.
- Obamacare Repeal & Replace will probably not happen before the 2018 Mid-Terms. Congress will try to force Trump to subsidize the big insurance companies to keep Obamacare afloat longer. The bottom line is that the RINO and DEM donor class wants to have national healthcare. If a corporation is no longer responsible for providing healthcare for its employees and their families, just think how much the corporation can add to their bottom line without doing absolutely anything!
One other unmentioned comment Trump made yesterday following the meeting was that he expects Congress to take up and pass a real budget. This is probably the most important statement he made yesterday and no one is talking about it! Trump hates the now normal use of Continuing Resolutions to fund the government rather than formerly adopting a real budget. As a business man, this is totally unacceptable. How can you run a $4 trillion economy without a budget? How can you expect to balance a budget without a budget. The conservative caucus in the House and Senate need to wake up and insist on Congress passing Trump’s budget!