Despite criticisms from conservative Republicans in Congress, President Donald Trump expressed support for the bipartisan budget that was passed in the House of Representatives. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Trump said on Monday, “We’re very happy with it,” and said he was happy with the $1.5 billion for border security. “And I think it’s important that we keep moving along. I think both sides are happy.” He has indicated that he will sign it. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that reason that the bipartisan plan was concluded is that Republicans ”need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there!” He suggested that more Republicans should be elected to the Senate, or that a change to the chamber’s parliamentary rules is necessary to pass the sort of budget he wants. Suggesting a threat to have an impasse over the budget, he tweeted, “Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix miss!”

Hours later on Monday, Trump said he was glad of the additional funding for the Department of Defense that is promised in the budget proposal. He celebrated what he called “our own victory, under the radar” in federal spending while citing upticks in spending for defense and border security. “We didn’t do any touting like the Democrats did,” Trump said at the Rose Garden. “This is what winning looks like.” Trump ‘Defeat’ Trump’s critics quickly disagreed with the president Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said in an interview on CNN, “Democrats cleaned our clock,” and added, “This is not winning from the Republican point of view.”

The prospect of a government shutdown was also criticized by Republicans. “I don’t ever want to see a government shutdown again,” said House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ). “It’s a bad thing for the nation.” Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Senate Republican, said on the Senate floor that the U.S. electorate “voted for us to govern.” Cornyn said, “Sometimes people just give up which is what shutting down the government is, it’s giving up.” Cornyn said in his speech that the filibuster is “fundamentally important” to “force us to develop consensus” on policy. “Legislation is fundamentally different” than nominees, he said. “The rules have saved us from a lot of bad policy, even when we were in the minority,” he said.

On Monday, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) described the budget bill “a defeat for President Trump” because it “does not fund the immoral and unwise border wall or create a cruel new deportation force.” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee, said, “Threatening to shut down the government, on the heels of a successful, bipartisan agreement, is a sour and shameful note to kick off negotiations for” for a fall spending deal.


In his morning tweet, Trump called on the Republicans to change the rules that currently require 60 votes to end a filibuster of legislation. Already, Republicans reduced the threshold to 51 votes for Supreme Court nominees this year and thus brought Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Trump said in an interview with Bloomberg News on Monday, Trump said: “Our system is archaic.” Last week, he told Fox News that “maybe at some point we’re going to have to take those rules on, because, for the good for the nation, things are going to have to be different.”

The budget does not provide specifically for the border security wall Trump requested, while it retained funding for Planned Parenthood. Funding for the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense, increased.

Trump is optimistic that there are budget battles he can win in the future. He told Bloomberg, “This is all coming due again in September, October, and we’re going to have another round of discussions.” However, he said that he is not seeking a government just now. “Look, the Democrats are obstructionists; that’s all they can do is obstruct. They have no leadership. And we have to agree, and I think both — both sides agree, we have to keep government going, we don’t want to shut government,” he said.

In a press conference today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) "Look, we have a long ways to go between now and September, but I share the president's frustration," Ryan said today in a press conference on Capitol Hill with other House GOP leaders. "I feel good about the wins we got with the administration in this bill."

Conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer, who was sometimes critical of Trump during the campaign, had uncharacteristically strong words Trump and the GOP. Bret Baier of Fox News’ “Special Report” on Monday night said on Fox News, “We always say, we’re one election from changing things. They control the House, the Senate, and the White House.” Krauthammer responded, “Trump got rolled. The Republicans got rolled.”

He added, “They ended up with nothing. It’s sort of embarrassing. I understand the strategy idea, we’re halfway through the year, only a few months left, this has all been negotiated in the past. You’ve saved your fire for September when you’re due for next year. That’s what they say every time, they’ve saved their fire, and they don’t use it the next time.” He concluded,“This is a total loss.”



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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