The Democrats seem to be reveling in their perceived spending bill victory and may believe that they have secured successfully blocking President Trump’s legislative priorities for the next several years. They no doubt won significant concessions in this bill by exploiting the deep divisions between the White House and GOP lawmakers. Democrats got nearly $5 billion in new domestic spending and have made it tough, if not impossible, for the GOP to rebound with a firm position in future budget negotiations, including Trump’s 2018 blueprint for the next budget.
The House and Senate Republicans seem hopelessly divided on how much to allocate for government programs, so they have been forced to try and work with Democrats to avoid a politically devastating government shutdown. It seems outlandish that with a Republican president and a majority of Republicans in the House and Senate that Democrats can be in the driver’s seat, but that in fact seems to be the case.
“I think we had a strategy and it worked,” Schumer said in an interview with The Washington Post. “Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate were closer to one another than Republicans were to Donald Trump.” In addition to the $5 billion allocated for domestic spending, the agreement of expenditure released early Monday morning is filled with Democratic priorities. Such as protection for funding for Planned Parenthood, a permanent extension of health care for coal miners and money to help Puerto Rico deal with a projected shortfall in Medicaid. Nancy Pelosi boasted in a letter to House Democrats on Monday, saying that the measure “reflects significant progress defeating dangerous Republican riders and securing key victories for Democratic priorities. In a defeat for President Trump, the [deal] does not fund the immoral and unwise border wall or create a cruel new deportation force.”
The spending bill was not devoid of some wins for Republicans; there is a greater increase in defense than domestic spending and the money for Puerto Rico was not new money, it was shifted from another place. House and Senate GOP also believe that fundamental changes to environmental policy were taken care of through the administrative process and they also think that they can move further in anti-abortion goals through future proceedings. Their plan is to create a new agreement on spending after September 30th with greater domestic cuts and funding for the border wall. But victory in the Senate will be tough in this cut-throat climate with Republicans holding a slim 52 to 48 majority and needing 60 votes to pass most legislation.
Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, said at his daily briefing, “Make no mistake, the wall is going to be built,” he then added that there would be plenty that the administration could do in planning for construction at a later date. Trump vowed to revive the discussion this Fall. The Vice President considered the $21 billion in additional military spending to be the biggest victory for the administration, even though it was just two-thirds of the amount that was sought. Vice President Pence said on “CBS This Morning,” “I think this morning’s announcement about reaching a bipartisan deal on the budget says that the American people can be encouraged that Washington is working again, thanks to the strong leadership of President Donald Trump. Thanks to his direct engagement with members of Congress, we’re seeing real progress.”
So which side of the Red-Blue Divide got the bigger win in this spending deal? We would like to see your comments.
Credit: The Washington Post