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Old 04-21-2017, 07:53 AM
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Default President Trump’s First 100 Days Could End in a Government Shutdown

President Trump’s First 100 Days Could End in a Government Shutdown

The historical marker on April 29 will coincide with the expiration of federal funding—unless Congress can strike a bipartisan deal in time.....

By Russell Berman
April 19, 2017

Kiichiro Sato/AP

On April 29, President Trump hopes to be commemorating his 100th day in office by touting his successful appointment of a Supreme Court justice and his quick victories in rolling back the Obama-era regulatory regime. But if Congress does not strike the first truly bipartisan deal of his presidency by then, Trump will instead spend his 100th day explaining to the public why the government he’s charged with running has partially shut down. Federal funding for most departments runs out on April 28, and House and Senate staffers are using the ongoing two-week congressional recess to negotiate a spending bill that would cover the final five months of the fiscal year. Despite their minority status in Washington, Democrats are feeling bullish about the talks, and the 100-day marker is a big reason why. Still reeling from their failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republican leaders have little appetite for an all-out brawl that could result in a shutdown at a time when they are trying to prove to their constituents they can effectively run the country.

“Our Republican colleagues know that since they control the House, the Senate, and the White House that a shutdown would fall on their shoulders, and they don’t want it,” Senator Charles Schumer of New York, the Democratic minority leader, told reporters on Tuesday. “We want to make sure it’s a good budget that meets our principles, but so far, so good.” Schumer’s optimism means Trump is unlikely to get all of his top priorities in whatever agreement Congress can reach. Democrats have leverage in the negotiations because Republicans will need eight of their votes to clear a filibuster in the Senate and because conservatives in the House have been reluctant in recent years to vote for any bill that appropriates significant amounts of taxpayer money. Democrats are using that power to refuse to grant Trump any of the $1.4 billion he sought to begin development of his signature southern border wall, and Republican leaders have signaled they are content to delay a debate on the issue until Congress considers funding for 2018. Nor is the president likely to see the $18 billion in cuts to domestic programs the White House is seeking this fiscal year to help offset the boost in military spending that Trump wants even more.

And in a move likely to anger some conservatives, GOP leaders are not even pushing to include a provision blocking funds to Planned Parenthood that they repeatedly—and unsuccessfully—demanded under former President Barack Obama. They had hoped to insert the measure in their health-care bill because it did not require Democratic votes, but with that effort stalled, so is the drive to defund Planned Parenthood. “It really hasn’t been an issue,” said one Democratic congressional aide briefed on the talks. The GOP has kept quiet about the discussions, and aides to senior Republicans in the House and Senate declined to comment on the remaining sticking points. Thus far, the Trump administration has had minimal involvement in the negotiations on Capitol Hill, and Democrats like Schumer say it’s best for all involved that it stay that way. (That includes Democratic leaders leery of being seen as striking a deal with a president despised by their liberal base.) “If the president doesn’t interfere and insist on poison-pill amendments to be shoved down the throat of the Congress, then we can come up with an agreement,” he said. Schumer was referring obliquely to a request from the White House that Congress include a provision in the bill that would withhold money from so-called “sanctuary cities” that refuse to enforce federal immigration laws.

Democrats, meanwhile, have policy demands of their own for the legislation. After Trump threatened to withhold subsidies for insurance companies under Obamacare unless Democrats agreed to help the GOP repeal the law, they want to add a provision to the spending bill requiring the administration to pay them out. House Republicans sued the Obama administration over those payments, but they are now under intense pressure from the insurance industry and the Chamber of Commerce to maintain them at least temporarily to prevent a further destabilization of the individual market that could lead to premium spikes for consumers. Trump isn’t exactly going to come away empty-handed. Lawmakers are likely to approve at least some additional money for defense spending, even if it’s not the full $30 billion the president requested or if it’s not offset with steep spending cuts elsewhere. And Congress may place restrictions on how the Pentagon can use the money, since the administration wants to spend much of it on buying new weapons and equipment. “We don’t just cut $30 billion checks and say, ‘Buy all the toys you want,’” the Democratic aide said.

Lawmakers might also agree to give the administration money to enhance border security in ways that do not include construction of the physical wall, which might allow Trump to declare a partial victory. “We’ve made very clear to Congress that the president’s priorities are increasing military spending and security of our border,” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said last week when asked whether Trump would insist on money for the wall as part of the spending bill. “We’re going to continue to have conversations with Congress, and we feel confident that they’ll do their job.” Democrats caution that the negotiations could still blow up once members of Congress return to Washington next week. Will the House Freedom Caucus make demands of the GOP leadership, and will the leadership try to appease conservatives rather than jettisoning them in favor of a deal with Democrats? Will Trump reinsert himself into the talks with a Twitter rant? The conservative who sparked the last government shutdown in 2013, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, is already warning that Schumer might, in effect, try to bait Republicans into a crisis for which they’ll get the blame. “I do have some concern that to appease the radical left, Chuck Schumer and the Democrats may do everything they can to try to provoke a shutdown,” he said earlier this week, according to The Texas Tribune.

There’s good reason to be skeptical about the prospects for a deal. The Republican Congress has had a sputtering start to the year, falling short on a health-care bill for which they needed no help from Democrats. Schumer and Trump have spent more time insulting each other than bargaining, and the Democratic leader has little to gain politically from sparing the new president a nightmare on his 100th day in office. That historical marker may be arbitrary, but the image-conscious Trump is reportedly invested in selling the public on his early, if limited, success. That might be incentive enough for an agreement. Trump isn’t getting a major health-care or tax-reform bill anytime soon. After 100 days in the White House, he might just have to settle for keeping the government open.
Certain to be an interesting week.
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Wink Re: President Trump’s First 100 Days Could End in a Government Shutdown

Granny says, "Dat's right - shut it down...

Trump: Our country ‘needs’ government shutdown to pass GOP agenda
May 2, 2017 - President Trump called for a government shutdown later this year to further the goals of the Republican Party.
On Tuesday morning, Trump said a shutdown is necessary for Republicans to negotiate with Democrats on a spending bill next September after the current spending bill runs its course. He argued that the government closure would help to clean up the “mess” in Washington, D.C., either by prompting Senate Republicans to scrap the legislative filibuster’s 60-vote threshold — something many GOP lawmakers oppose — or by boosting the Republicans in the 2018 congressional elections.

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

President Trump talks with reporters as he walks to the Oval Office on May 2.

Trump’s comments came in the aftermath of a congressional deal on a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through September. And Democrats secured a number of wins at Trump’s expense. The bipartisan, $1 trillion spending bill stipulates that none of the money can go toward constructing Trump’s promised U.S.-Mexico border wall. The legislators also rejected most of Trump’s proposed cuts to the nation’s nonmilitary spending.

Amid criticism from some conservatives over the deal, Trump argued that Republicans gave the concessions to Democrats because they didn’t have enough senatorial votes to go it alone. An alternative to scrapping the filibuster, Trump suggested, was for voters to elect more Republicans to the Senate in the 2018 midterms. Trump has repeatedly expressed frustration at Congress for not quickly embracing his legislative agenda. In a recent interview, Trump denounced the rules of Congress as “unbelievably archaic and slow-moving,” and he called Democrats “totally obstructionist” at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday. Nevertheless, he said, Republicans would win the “great battles” ahead.

See also:

[b]Congress reaches spending deal, lowering odds of government shutdown[b]
April 30, 2017 | WASHINGTON — Congress has reached an agreement to fund the federal government through September in a bipartisan deal that rejected President Trump’s demand for a border wall and non-defense domestic spending cuts.
The $1 trillion-plus spending bill will allocate $1.5 billion for additional technology and infrastructure on the border, but includes language that explicitly states those funds cannot go to the construction of a wall. Lawmakers also rejected the president’s demand for $18 billion in non-defense spending cuts, increasing funds for the National Institutes for Health (NIH) by $2 billion for cancer research. Democrats held off the White House’s demand to cut the Environmental Protection Agency by a third as well, with that agency getting just a 1 percent trim off its budget.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell points to a reporters after a policy luncheon on Capitol Hill.

The bipartisan deal also increased military spending by $12.5 billion — less than half the $30 billion the president asked for — with an extra $2.5 billion contingent upon the Trump administration showing Congress a plan to defeat ISIS. The bill doesn’t touch funding for so-called sanctuary cities and Planned Parenthood — two hot-button issues the Democrats had called “poison pills.” But Democrats were stymied in their effort to get Congress to take over funding key Obamacare subsidies. The final deal does not include them, though the Trump administration told Democrats they would continue to fund that part of Obamacare for now.

Democrats entered the negotiations with a lot of leverage, since Republicans, eager to prove their governing chops, did not want to be blamed for a government shutdown while they controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. House Republicans have also been eager to move on from spending negotiations to a second attempt at repealing and replacing Obamacare. A vote on the amended health care bill could happen this week.

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