After Trump’s first 100 days in office, he tweeted, “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 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!”
Democrats quickly hopped including Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz who tweeted, “The President just called for a government shutdown this fall. No President has ever done anything like this.”
Congressional leaders have announced that they’d reach a deal to avert a government shutdown until September, but they would need Democratic votes.
The Twitter posts also set off a scramble at the White House, upending a frenetic effort by Mr. Trump’s advisers to portray the spending agreement as a major victory for the president.
Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney responded to Trump’s tweet saying, “A shutdown is not a goal,” Mulvaney said, but rather a “negotiating tool to an extent.” He also stated that a shutdown would show Americans how broken Washington was when they voted for Trump.
Trump could have tweeted this for multiple reasons.
The declarations appeared to be aimed at defending a compromise spending package that Congress is likely to clear this week. Conservative activists have criticized the agreement as one that does not address their priorities and swells the deficit, but the White House has signaled that the president would accept it rather than set off a government shutdown.
The Twitter messages were also an indication of a health care overhaul that appeared on Tuesday would be stalled again, having bedeviled Mr. Trump at this early stage of his presidency, forcing him to bow to political realities to which he had insisted he was immune.
Mike Mulvaney also said that Trump made these comments because he was “frustrated” due to the Democrats claiming victory.
Trump says that the problem could be solved by either electing more Republican Senators in 2018, the next midterm elections, “or change the rules now to 51%.” That appeared to refer to scrapping the filibuster, which allows any senator to insist on a three-fifths vote, rather than a simple majority, to act on legislative matters.
Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee said he would vote against Trump’s upcoming bill, and he made it clear that Trump would keep this subject to himself.
“I do wish somebody would take his iPhone away from him,” Mr. Corker said.
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