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President Trump on Tuesday advocated for a “shutdown” in the fall, suggesting that it could force a rules change in the Senate to kill the filibuster on legislation.
Mr. Trump complained in a pair of tweets about the government spending deal that the Republican majority had to negotiate with Democrats because of the 60-vote hurdle in the Senate to advance the measure. The Senate currently has 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats.
Negotiators reached a $1.1 trillion government-wide funding agreement late Sunday and Vice President Mike Pence said in an interview on “CBS This Morning” Monday that the president signed off on its parameters. Democrats have cheered the wins they’ve scored in the measure, which excludes funding for Mr. Trump’s border wall, continues funding for Planned Parenthood and protects most of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget.
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Lawmakers are expected to vote on the package before Friday night when funding expires. It will keep the government funded through Sept. 30, but that means the next showdown over appropriations will occur this fall.
Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, reacted to the president’s tweet during a press conference following a closed-door meeting with the House GOP Conference.
“Look, we’ve got a long ways to go between now and September, but I share the president’s frustration,” Ryan said. “What a lot of people in America don’t realize is appropriation bills, they take 60 votes to pass. They can be filibustered. All appropriations bill, therefore, have to be bipartisan.”
But the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-New Jersey, disagreed with the president.
“I don’t ever want to see a government shutdown again because I think it’s a bad thing for the country and nation,” he told reporters when asked to respond to Mr. Trump’s threat.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, used stronger language to express his disagreement with Mr. Trump.
“Threatening to shut down the government, on the heels of a successful, bipartisan agreement, is a sour and shameful note to kick off negotiations for FY 2018,” Leahy said in a statement. “I hope the President does not seriously wish to have the consequences of a government shutdown resting squarely on his shoulders.”
The last government shutdown went on for 16 days in October 2013 after Republicans led the fight to defund Obamacare through the spending package.
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Source: CBS News – Politics