WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended a $1.1 trillion deal as Republicans lashed back over some of the bill’s most controversial compromises.
The bill, which affords funding to Democratic sponsored programs such as Planned Parenthood, does not include funding to programs deemed priorities by Republicans, such as financing to begin construction of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, a promise that Trump famously campaigned upon. The bill also provides continued federal funding to so called “sanctuary cities”, a fact that has conservatives outraged.
The president took to Twitter to defend the spending bill, claiming that compromises were necessary in order to avert a government shutdown.
“The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there!” Trump tweeted, calling for voters to elect more Republican senators in 2018 “or change the rules” of the Senate filibuster. “Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!” he added.
Heritage Action, an organization that promotes conservative causes, blasted the spending bill on Tuesday (https://heritageaction.com/sentinel-professionals/massive-spending-bill-fails-meet-conservative-priorities-2/), claiming the bill “woefully fails the test of fiscal responsibility and does not advance important conservative policies.”
Even mega Trump supporter Rush Limbaugh slammed the proposed legislation during his radio show on Monday, calling out the priorities of the Trump administration in the process.
“Sanctuary cities are continually funded,” said Limbaugh. “Obamacare is not repealed nor is it replaced….Obamacare gets funded. Sanctuary cities get funded. The EPA gets funded through September. Planned Parenthood gets funded. The wall does not. So if you’re asking yourself, ‘Why am I voting Republican?,’ you have a good question.”
“Why is anybody voting Republican, if this is what happens when we win?” Limbaugh added.
Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer echoed Limbaugh’s sentiments during an interview on Monday’s Fox News. “This is a total loss,” Krauthammer said of the bill.
However, backers of the bill say the president has done his best to compromise in an effort to avoid a government blackout, arguing the deal provides an additional $15 billion for defense spending and a $1.5 billion spending increase for border security.
“The hard fact is in the Senate, Trump is going to have to eight votes from the Democrats to bring this spending bill across the finish line,” Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) of the Ways and Means Committee told Fox News. Rice also noted that the border adjustment tax, which the Trump administration has deemed a priority, remains “on the table.”
A final vote on the bill is expected later this week.