The God-King arted his deal with ‘Chuck and Nancy’ instead of Republicans, plus Other Stuff…. (More)
In the aftermath, Republicans seethed privately and distanced themselves publicly from the deal. They were left to hope that Trump’s collaboration with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was a temporary dalliance, and not the new MO for the president.
“Obviously, it would have been better not to make us vote repeatedly on the debt ceiling. But I wasn’t surprised,” sighed Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). “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?” cracked Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho). “He’s the best deal-maker ever. Don’t you know? I mean, he’s got a book out!”
Why this matters: Hurricane Harvey gave Republican leadership a rare opportunity to take the most controversial and politically toxic item — the debt ceiling — off the table for the rest of this Congress. Trump has blown up that opportunity.
— When the debt ceiling and government funding bills expire in December, Democrats will have all the leverage, because Republicans can’t pass a CR or debt ceiling without Democratic votes.
— That will also force Republicans to support a funding bill that legalizes the protection of illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children (the DACA program that Trump says he’ll end in six months if Congress doesn’t act.)
A top Republican close to leadership captures the prevailing sentiment on Capitol Hill today: “Dems bluffed their way into total victory.”
In a surprising blow to his own party’s congressional leadership, the president on Wednesday struck a deal with Democrats to package nearly $8 billion in Hurricane Harvey relief with a three-month extension of government funding and increase in the debt ceiling. Trump agreed to the request by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer over the objections of Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had wanted a longer increase in the debt ceiling to prevent Republicans from having to take multiple, politically painful votes to raise it in the coming months.
“We essentially came to a deal, and I think the deal will be very good,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One after meeting with the top four congressional leaders at the White House. In a sign of how the meeting went, he praised the two Democrats he had until recently called “obstructionists,” and he neglected to mention Ryan and McConnell at all.
Trump even held out the possibility of giving Democrats a much bigger prize in future negotiations: a permanent legislative fix for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children who were protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which he announced would be winding down. “Chuck and Nancy would like to see something happen, and so do I,” the president said.
And astonishingly enough, The Federalist’s Ben Demenech thinks this is great news:
So President Trump calls the leadership of the Republicans and Democrats into the Oval Office today for a meeting about what to do about the debt ceiling and funding the government, and he promptly does something that Washington should’ve expected, but didn’t because they’re locked in to bad conventional wisdom: he overruled his aides to side with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi over Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. The pivot is real, and it’s spectacular.
As I wrote in a recent edition of The Transom: The truth is that Trump doesn’t need McConnell. What would he need him for? Every Republican wants tax reform. Yesterday some reporters were warning darkly about the debt limit or the budget. Who do you think is more worried about the consequences of a shutdown, Trump or McConnell? And if, come December, Congress has failed to send health care, tax reform, the wall, infrastructure, had a short shutdown, and Trump and McConnell are blaming each other for the failure, who does the media think will win that fight with GOP voters? It won’t even be close.
What could be included in the December measure? Cromnibus, debt limit increase, more money for victims of Harvey and Irma, flood insurance, opioid money, transportation stimulus, and perhaps even a clean DACA Christmas present? Dream big!
As preposterous as this is, it’s also a glimpse of how the “pivot” to the center would work. Trump siding against GOP leaders and seeing them bend over illustrates how he could get them to do this on just about everything. The path of least resistance, the path of popularity for him, is to dismiss the demands of Congressional Republicans on virtually everything except abortion, judges, education, free speech, and regulations. In almost every other way, he has the opportunity to govern like Bill Clinton and triangulate a path through this screwed up political system. He’s that much stronger than congressional Republicans, and he doesn’t even seem to know it.
None of that is a done deal, of course. Both the Senate and House will have to pass the deal worked out yesterday, and it’s at least conceivable that McConnell and Ryan will insist on loading up a bill with GOP poison pills. But if Senate and House Republicans do that, they’ll be walking a high wire with no net. There’s already a deal to be had, a deal the God-King has said he’ll sign.
The ‘magic’ formula for all of this isn’t magic at all. It’s simply a matter of McConnell and Ryan deciding to let Senate and House Democrats do their jobs. If a bill has enough votes to pass – counting both Republicans and Democrats – bring it to the floor. No more auto-filibuster. No more Hastert Rule. No more of America held hostage by the nuttiest wingnuts.
Will it happen? I don’t know, but yesterday the God-King pretty much declared that’s what he wants. At least this week….
“Cannibalizing stigmatized and marginalized groups against each other”
Yesterday the God-King said he wants Congress to enact DACA as law, but his sewer spewer doesn’t seem to agree:
It’s a long-running talking point spouted by Trump administration members and the president himself: Undocumented immigrants are taking jobs away from black and Hispanic Americans.
Hours after President Trump dismantled an Obama-era program that had granted 800,000 young undocumented immigrants permission to live and work in the United States, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders again made the claim.
“It’s a known fact that there are over 4 million unemployed Americans in the same age group as those that are DACA recipients; that over 950,000 of those are African Americans in the same age group; over 870,000 unemployed Hispanics in the same age group,” Sanders said during Tuesday’s press briefing. “Those are large groups of people that are unemployed that could possibly have those jobs.”
But that’s hogwash, as the Washington Post’s Callum Borchers explains:
There is no evidence that the unemployed Americans, be they black, white or Hispanic, have the skills necessary to hold the same jobs occupied by the young beneficiaries of the five-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“It is one thing to say that there are hundreds of thousands of minorities the same age that are unemployed, and a very different thing for them to have the same education, skills and experience as the employed DACA workers,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum and former chief economic policy adviser to Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) presidential campaign.
“And if they do,” he added, “it begs the question as to why they don’t have those jobs in the first place.”
Wingnuts simply presume that all of those DREAMers are making beds, mowing lawns, or picking crops. But the data on DREAMers doesn’t support that. Worse, presuming Those Jobs should instead go to black and Hispanic Americans is … well … an insult to black and Hispanic Americans:
Furthermore, said Darrick Hamilton, an economics and urban policy professor at The New School, blacks and Latinos want access to quality jobs, not just jobs at the bottom of the labor market.
“Why do we reserve and presume the bottom of the labor market for blacks and Latinos?” Hamilton said. “Many DACA recipients are full-time students not engaged in taking away jobs.”
“Cannibalizing stigmatized and marginalized groups against each other serves the wealthy interests that benefit from such divisive colonial and labor segmenting tactics,” Hamilton said.
Borchers cites other data showing that, rather than displacing native-born workers, DREAMers and other immigrants expand the labor market. Simply, they spend money and consumers spending money creates jobs.
That’s why so many business leaders came out publicly against rescinding DACA, and why they want Congress to fix it. Let’s see if ‘Chuck and Nancy’ can get that done.
Photo Credit: Evan Vucci (AP)
Good day and good nuts