On a conference call with reporters earlier today, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney attempted to push back on a conservative media revolt over the FY 2017 budget compromise, announced late Sunday night.
Conservatives — and many Trump supporters in the media — have been lambasting the new budget as a Wall Street driven cave-in to Democratic demands. They blame House Republican leadership for failing to stand up to Democrats because they are petrified of a government shutdown. Highlights include the following facts: the deal funds Sanctuary Cities, Obamacare, EPA, Planned Parenthood and no money is provided for the wall.
Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh excoriated the deal on Monday, concluding, “Why is anybody voting Republican, if this is what happens when we win?”
Democratic leaders have gleefully claimed total victory over a $1.07 trillion fiscal 2017 spending measure that is expected to hit Trump’s desk late this week.
Mulvaney, a former U.S. House Rep. from South Carolina, furiously pushed back on the narrative that the Democrats won the budget battle.
“It’s not true that the Democrats won, Mulvaney said, “the American people won.”
President Trump’s budget director emphasized that, “Democrats on the Hill know what’s in this bill, and they don’t like it.”
Mulvaney outlined what he saw as several key “wins” for Trump in the new budget, including: an additional $21 billion for defense, an additional $1.52 billion for border security — “the largest increase in ten years”– school choice for D.C. students, defunding of Planned Parenthood in health care funding and extended health coverage for coal minors.
Mulvaney also outlined what Democrats wanted but did not get: “No Obamacare bailout and no Puerto Rico bailout” — but Puerto Rico will receive a $295 million cash infusion via a previous measure.
Mulvaney also disputed the notion that Republicans caved.
“The Democrats wanted a shutdown,” Mulvaney asserted. “They wanted to forward the narrative that we can’t govern. We averted that and changed their planned political narrative.”
Some conservative media have tagged the budget as a complete GOP rollover. Mulvaney attempted to thwart that account as fiction, or fake news.
TRUMP: NOT A HAPPY CAMPER
But President Donald Trump on Tuesday, who listens to conservative media that reflects his base, evidently heard a different message from his faithful.
In a series of tweets this morning, POTUS called for an end to Senate legislative filibusters. Trump wants bills passed with a simple majority — while potentially calling for a government shutdown in September to force Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell’s hand on the 60-vote cloture rule.
“The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate, which are not there!” Trump tweeted. “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 (the) mess!”