Recently, Donald Trump threatened that he would support a government shutdown in order to force Congress to come up with the money to build his wall upon the Mexican border. However, it turns out that particular threat may have been all talk. CNN has reported that Trump has reached a deal with Democrats that would raise the debt ceiling for three months, as well as providing funding for Hurricane Harvey.
The deal came after Trump met with Democratic leaders. The president told them that he wanted a solution and, after hearing the Democrats’ offer, he agreed to support it. In supporting this measure, Trump has broken with his own party, whose leadership has expressed concern regarding only raising the debt ceiling for three months. During a meeting with reporters, Trump said that he thought the deal was “very good.”
‘We had a very good meeting. We essentially came to a deal and I think the deal will be very good’
Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not Congressional Republicans will go along with this deal. Paul Ryan has called the Democrats’ push for a short-term increase in the debt ceiling “ridiculous.” The GOP hasn’t said how long they wanted the debt ceiling raised, but most believe they intended a period longer than three months.
‘I think that’s ridiculous and disgraceful that they want to play politics with the debt ceiling at this moment when we have fellow citizens in need to respond to these hurricanes so that we do not strand them.’
Democratic leaders said they would be willing to support a deal which handled Harvey aid and the debt ceiling, but only if the time frame for the debt ceiling was limited. It is likely that Democrats want more time to negotiate a budget and other priorities.
In a joint statement, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer said that they believe this deal will give them more time to work on healthcare, the Dream act, and other important issues.
‘Given Republican difficulty in finding the votes for their plan, we believe this proposal offers a bipartisan path forward to ensure prompt delivery of Harvey aid as well as avoiding a default, while both sides work together to address government funding, Dreamers, and health care.’
It remains to be seen whether or not Republican leaders will support this measure. They hold majorities in both houses of Congress, but, as the healthcare debate has proven, that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to convince all of their members to go along with their bill. That is especially true if Trump is supporting the Democratic bill. Many Republicans are wary of angering Trump, so if he were to come out in support of the Democrats’ plan then that might be enough to persuade some Republicans.
One of the more interesting things about this announcement is that this is one of the few times Trump has actually endorsed a Democratic plan. He has spoken of bipartisanship, but, for the most part, his agenda has been pure Republican.