Thursday, September 7, 2017

I Was Just Reviewing The Minutes Of Our Last Meeting

Early in the day on Wednesday the US House of Representatives voted on a nearly $8 billion aid package to victims of Hurricane Harvey.  Senate Republican leaders had been planning to tie that aid to a bill to raise the debt ceiling after the 2018 midterm elections.
Democrats were amenable to helping move the aid/debt ceiling bill but would only agree to do so for three months.  This prompted Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to go on the record despising the plan calling it “dumb” at a news conference.
“Let’s just think about this: We’ve got all this devastation in Texas. We’ve got another unprecedented hurricane about to hit Florida, and they want to play politics with the debt ceiling? I think that’s ridiculous and disgraceful that they want to play politics with the debt ceiling at this moment when we have fellow citizens in need, to respond to these hurricanes so we do not strand them,” Ryan said angrily.
Shortly thereafter, Ryan and other congressional leaders went to the White House for a strategy meeting with the president.
It was at that meeting that President Trump agreed to endorse a plan proposed by Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi to attach hurricane relief money to a shorter-term bump in the debt ceiling as well as keeping the government open.
Schumer, during the meeting, reminded the president that Ryan had supported short-term increases in the past intended to help create bipartisan deals in 2013.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said later that he would support the deal agreed to by the president but he made very clear following the Republican policy lunch that this was an agreement between President Trump and Democratic leaders. He wouldn't say if he was surprised by the deal, but said Trump's "rationale" was the "feeling that we need to come together."
Countless Americans have become increasingly disgruntled with Congress’s failure to get anything done and see McConnell and Ryan as the obstacles to enacting the president’s agenda.  If things don’t change voters will not only demand new leadership they will throw the bums out come election day.
Ben Domenech, writing at The Federalist surmised, “This is the first sign Trump is waking up to the inaccuracy of the conventional wisdom about needing McConnell and Ryan which has animated so much of the early failures of the Republican legislative agenda.  So, he’s being more honest:  he doesn’t like McConnell and Ryan, never did.  He likes Chuck Schumer, and knows him, and thinks he can work with him.”
Voters began electing men and women to serve in Congress who would repeal and replace Obamacare and legislate tax reform beginning in 2010.  They’ve had years of preparation and yet have been unable to advance their agenda.  Republicans have failed to deliver on their promises to President Trump and to the voters who sent them to Washington to fight for them.
They’ve been blowing smoke like a ’56 Rambler.  I don’t blame the president for taking sides against the feckless GOP elite. 

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