Trump to meet with key Republicans opposed to health care bill

Tomas Mccoy
May 4, 2017

So far, GOP leaders are short of the 216 votes they will need to prevail, and despite White House prodding have said a vote will occur only once they can succeed.

President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that the nation "needs a good "shutdown" in September" to fix a "mess" in the Senate, issuing contradictory messages ahead of key votes on a spending plan to keep the federal government running.

Democrats - and some Republicans - quickly denounced his call to close the federal government in a spending fight just as both parties were closing in on a final measure to fund agencies through September.

"Our Republican team had its own victory - under the radar", Trump said, calling the bill "a clear win for the American people".

GOP leadership remains under tremendous pressure from the White House to move the bill to the House floor before members leave for a one-week recess on Thursday, despite Ryan's repeated refusal to bring the legislation to a vote until the whip team is confident that 216 members are firmly behind it. They sounded a note of defeat, blaming Senate rules for a budget plan that merited closing most government operations.

BUDGET DIRECTOR MICK MULVANEY: "And we're going to build this", Mulvaney told a briefing.

The agreement makes the U.S. "stronger and safer", House Speaker Paul Ryan said in statement, because "it acts on President Trump's commitment to rebuild our military for the 21st century and bolster our nation's border security to protect our homeland". Asked to explain Trump's advocacy for a shutdown, Mulvaney said, "Right now I'm not anxious about September, I'm anxious about this deal that's in front of us".

The legislation would lose if 22 Republicans vote no, assuming all Democrats oppose it. "They were desperate to make this administration look like we couldn't govern", Mulvaney said.

Top House Republicans scrambling to prevent another collapse of their push to repeal much of President Barack Obama's health care law may have found a way to win over some moderate GOP holdouts.

Watch above, via Fox News and ABC News.

But by this morning, the president sounded off on Twitter. "Our country needs a good "shutdown" in September to fix mess!"

Trump did secure increased military spending in the 2017 budget deal. "You can call it new wall, you can call it replacement, you can call it maintenance, call it whatever you want to".

McConnell has said he's not inclined to change Senate rules on the filibuster and legislation, something that has been echoed by other Republicans. "The breaking of that parity requirement shows that we're now back to fixing defense, and we're not going to allow it to be held hostage for more bloated domestic spending".

Previous government shutdowns have cost the USA economy tens of billions of dollars and seen government services grind to a halt as thousands of non-essential personnel are temporarily laid off. The 16-day partial government shutdown in 2013 cost $24 billion, according to Moody's and Standard and Poor's. That included lost revenue for the national parks. "The bill ensures taxpayer dollars aren't used to fund an ineffective border wall, excludes poison pill riders, and increases investments in programs that the middle class relies on, like medical research, education and infrastructure". "And why ruin that?" Mulvaney argued that Trump's victory was in avoiding a politically-embarrassing shutdown that could play into the hands of White House opponents and critics.

The two senior administration officials who spoke to CNN on Tuesday said Trump and Kelly had planned to address Democratic claims head on at the signing of the omnibus bill - particularly with regard to the border wall - but some of Trump's senior advisers outside the communications shop pushed for Mulvaney and Kelly to make the case Tuesday instead.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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