President Donald Trump has angered the Republican Party after making a deal with Democrats to raise the United States’ debt ceiling, thus undercutting G.O.P plans and defying his own party’s fiscal policies.
Despite President Trump’s unpredictable political allegiances, members of the Republican Party on Capitol Hill are nevertheless disheartened by the Commander-in-Chief’s recent floor-crossing to make a pact with Democratic leaders.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi met with the president in the Oval Office to discuss a short-term fiscal plan that would tide the American government over while long-term plans are being drawn up.
The deal, which, in essence, raises the country’s borrowing limit, would also prevent an imminent government shutdown due to budget disputes between partisan lawmakers.
Merely hours before the bipartisan meeting, White House officials had allegedly assured House Speaker Paul Ryan that Trump was fully behind a G.O.P plan that would’ve implemented an 18-month debt ceiling hike, as well as diverting emergency relief funds to help the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Nevertheless, President Trump pivoted and – to the contentment of Democrats – decided to go his own way.
According to a report in The Washington Post, Speaker Paul Ryan was quick to respond to Trump’s strategy, appealing to the president to “start caring more” about Republican lawmakers.
“It doesn’t help our leadership to try to hold us Republicans together on anything when they know the president will chop them off at the knees. Trump has got to start caring more about his colleagues over here.”
Furthermore, it is alleged that Trump, in choosing to side with Democrats, has placed even more strain on an already fragile relationship with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Trump, despite tensions with Ryan and McConnell, expressed optimism after his meeting with the Democratic leadership while speaking to the White House press corps aboard Air Force One.
“We had a very good meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. We agreed to a three-month extension of the debt ceiling, which they consider to be sacred — very important — always we’ll agree on debt ceiling automatically because of the importance of it.”
Republicans, on the other hand, were not as enthusiastic as the president. In fact, many high-profile party members have come out swinging in condemnation of Trump’s move.
According to POLITICO, Steven Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, was in favor of a long-term increase, but the president reportedly interrupted him in disagreement.
Rep. Senator Roger Wicker said that “obviously, it would have been better not to make us vote repeatedly on the debt ceiling. But I wasn’t surprised. I think Mitch would rather have done it differently, but it’s not worth having a big old fight over.”
“A three-month debt ceiling? Why not do a daily debt ceiling? He’s the best deal-maker ever. Don’t you know? I mean, he’s got a book out,” said Rep. Mike Simpson.
Meanwhile, Sen. Ben Sasse believes that the “Pelosi-Schumer-Trump” is “bad.”
For some members of the G.O.P, Trump’s decision was a show of support for a Democratic policy that is seen as a “betrayal” of party values.
Elsewhere, Rep. Mark Walker felt blindsided.”It’s unsettling,” Walker said. “It’s hard for the conference; I can only imagine what it is for leadership.”
“Nothing shocks me around here,” quipped Sen. John Kennedy.
Sen. Bob Corker asked, “am I surprised? Not really,” while Sen. Dan Sullivan from Alaska said: “We are literally funding this government on 90-day notes. That is not the way to fund the largest, most relevant entity in the world.”
At a Republican gathering, Rep. Mark Meadows blamed the party leadership for failing to come up with appropriate options to propose to the president.
“You’ve got to give the president conservative options. There was not a conservative option on the table. It was either a clean debt ceiling or this deal. And when we look at that you can’t criticize somebody when there’s not a conservative proposal that’s put forth.”
During the bipartisan meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office, lawmakers decided to make available $8 billion towards Hurricane relief. McConnell later confirmed that the relief funds would be increased to $15 billion in anticipation of Hurricane Irma.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]