President Donald Trump tweets that we need a ‘good shutdown.’ Social media reactions are mixed. Elizabeth Keatinge (@elizkeatinge) has more. Buzz60
Lawmakers in both parties celebrated reaching a spending deal that would avoid a government shutdown this week, but President Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to argue that the country “needs a good shutdown” to fix Senate rules that require him to negotiate with Democrats.
The deal struck by Republican and Democratic leaders to fund the government through Sept. 30 includes some of the increased defense spending Trump had requested but not funding for his wall along the Mexican border. It also continues subsidies for health insurance under Obamacare and provides emergency funding for Puerto Rico, where a budget crisis has threatened Medicaid payments. Both were big Democratic priorities.
Congress is expected to vote on the deal in the next couple of days; the government is currently funded only through Friday under a temporary measure passed last week.
Trump tweeted Tuesday that the deal had to be negotiated because Republicans can’t push a bill through the Senate without bipartisan support. He then suggested changing Senate rules to scrap the minority party’s ability to block legislation, and said a government shutdown would help.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., changed the Senate rules this year to allow Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed without Democratic support, but he said he would not change the rules for other legislation.
Trump’s budget director — former congressman Mick Mulvaney — told reporters Tuesday, “The president’s tweet was ‘we might need a shutdown at some point to drive home that Washington needs to be fixed.’ I think that’s a defensible position, one we’ll deal with in September.”
But Mulvaney added, “The truth of the matter though is now we’ve averted a government shutdown in a way that allows the president to fund his priorities. That’s the story now, not what might happen in September. We’ve got a lot of things to do between now and September.”
House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., said simply, “I don’t ever want to see a government shut down.”
Democrats expressed dismay at the president appearing to advocate for a government shutdown.