President Trump is putting new pressure on GOP lawmakers to ‘get tough’ and fund his border wall in a spending bill that will the federal government humming along until the end of the year.
They’re declining to force a government shutdown over the issue just before the midterm elections that are six weeks away. Trump has expressed his displeasure with the tactic but consented in order to help his party maintain control of Congress.
He signaled on Thursday that he was reconsidering his position, though, as he derided a Senate-passed bill as ‘ridiculous’ because it doesn’t include money for his border structure.
‘I want to know, where is the money for Border Security and the WALL in this ridiculous Spending Bill, and where will it come from after the Midterms? Dems are obstructing Law Enforcement and Border Security. REPUBLICANS MUST FINALLY GET TOUGH!’ he tweeted.
Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to pass some sort of spending legislation in order to prevent a federal shutdown.
The Senate on Tuesday approved a $854 billion bill that encompasses the president’s other legislative priorities like defense spending a pay raise for the troops.
That bill sailed through the Senate and was headed to the House for passage.
While the president could veto the bill in search of a better deal, Congress needs just a two-thirds majority of lawmakers to vote to override him. The Senate passed its version of the bill 97-3 the first time around.
Their compromise measure bundles several spending bills into one and authorizes $675 billion in defense spending. That includes a 2.6 percent pay raise for the armed services – the biggest boost in nearly a decade for the rank and file.
Lawmakers from both parties complained about what was or wasn’t in the bill, but overall, the committee that oversees government spending hailed the legislation as a success.
‘We did our job and focused on what we should be doing – making responsible, thoughtful decisions about how to fund these federal agencies and leaving controversial policy issues out of it,’ said Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on Appropriations.
Trump indicated in the Thursday morning tweet that had the potential to blow the deal up before it ever makes it to the floor of the House that he’s having second-thoughts now about punting on his most-cherished campaign promise.
He ordered Republicans to ‘get tough’ and also demanded they prove to him that he will get the money for his wall after they’re reelected.
The president similarly ranted in a Saturday tweet, before the Senate wrapped up its work on the spending bill, that GOP leaders are ‘being played’ by congressional Democrats, and they should stand firm on the wall.
‘When will Republican leadership learn that they are being played like a fiddle by the Democrats on Border Security and Building the Wall? Without Borders, we don’t have a country,’ he charged. ‘With Open Borders, which the Democrats want, we have nothing but crime! Finish the Wall!’