Donald Trump’s Fox & Friends-inspired threat to shut down the government by vetoing the omnibus spending bill that passed early Friday morning has stood, unchanged, for a couple of hours. The White House seems at a loss as to what to say at the moment, with White House spokesman Hogan Gidley issuing a statement that simply says “The tweet stands for itself.” Legislative affairs director Marc Short, asked if there will be shutdown, just says “I think we’ll be OK.”
We won’t be okay, for the record. John Bolton is going to become national security adviser, and nothing that Trump says means anything. For example, here’s what the White House was publishing yesterday:
“We must work across party lines to give our heroic troops the equipment, resources, and support that they have earned a thousand times over.”
President Donald J. Trump
The White House also called the bill “A WIN FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE,” and yes, it was in all caps. So what changed? Besides the whole Fox & Friends thing. Trump is simply on a rampage.
Trump’s tweet caught many in the West Wing and on Capitol Hill by surprise, sending them scrambling to determine how serious he is about vetoing the bill …
There remains hope in the White House that the defense community, including Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis … could convince Trump that whatever stopgap spending agreement results from a shutdown threat would not deliver the high level of defense spending provided by the omnibus.
But Trump’s frustration is severe, the West Wing official said. The president has been concerned by conservative outcry on Fox News, about the amount provided for the border wall and interior enforcement and the way in which Amtrak funding is being framed as a victory for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Trump is having what he’s calling a news conference in a few minutes. Might be a bill signing, maybe a tantrum. We’ll see.
Ok, he’s finally up. Good news to report. “Tremendous” trade deals “we’re negotiating very hard, very long” which no one needs to hear out of his mouth. Introduces Wilbur Ross to talk about the trade deal with South Korea then says he’ll address this “ridiculous situation” that took place over the past week, gesturing to the spending bill.
He’s going to use national security and how President Obama destroyed the military for his reason to sign the spending bill. “As crazy as it’s been, as difficult as it’s been, as much opposition as we’ve seen from the Democrats….to creating what will be by far the strongest military we’ve ever had.” So he’s mad at all the stories that talked about Democratic wins. He’s having to trash them to justify in his addled brain why he’s signing this bill that doesn’t give him his wall.
“I will never sign another bill like this again. Nobody read it. Nobody knows what’s in it…. President Obama actually signed one that was bigger.” It’s all the Democrats fault. Filibuster. DACA. Listen, asshole, you want to fix DACA? Do it. You can do it. Anyway, he’s going to demand a line item veto and the filibuster rule. This is a prolonged hissy fit because he was told by his national security team that he has to sign it and he doesn’t want to. There’s going to be some rage tweeting this weekend.
He’s being egged on by some of the usual suspects in Congress. Deficit peacock Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who voted for the $2 trillion tax giveaway, tweeted in response to the veto threat “Please do, Mr. President. I am just down the street and will bring you a pen. The spending levels without any offsets are grotesque, throwing all of our children under the bus. Totally irresponsible.” And Freedom Caucus maniac Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) piled on. “The@freedomcaucus would fully support you in this move, Mr. President. Let’s pass a short term [continuing resolution] while you negotiate a better deal for the forgotten men and women of America.”
As of now, both the House and Senate are adjourned and members have already scattered for their two-week recess and the soonest either chamber could have all members there to vote on something new would be Monday.