President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are set for a showdown over whether the GOP should work with Democrats to pass a spending bill, The Hill reports.
Trump agreed to allow GOP leadership to take some time to try and work out a spending agreement with Democrats, but said he did not want the talks to last a full year and he does not want a deal that increases spending or the deficit. McConnell is looking to pass a regular spending bill, rather than the continuing resolutions that Congress has settled on in the past and that Trump would reportedly prefer.
The Hill notes that working with Democrats will likely mean Trump will have to agree to increase spending before he runs for reelection in 2020, a move that would likely hurt his campaign with conservatives.
“McConnell says, ‘Let me start negotiations, I can get a good deal,’ and the president says, ‘Let’s see what happens,’ but it turns out they’re nowhere close to deal. It’s the end of April and they’re nowhere close to a deal,” an unnamed GOP source told the Hill.
Sources also said that Trump and McConnell disagree over budget caps that take effect under the 2011 Budget Control Act, which will activate spending reductions at the Pentagon and on domestic spending.
“Quite frankly I don’t know what Trump would trust McConnell to negotiate. Trump said from the outset he doesn’t want a [spending] caps deal and McConnell’s first instinct is to say, ‘OK, we’re getting a caps deal,’” said Rachel Bovard, the Conservative Partnership Institute’s senior director of policy.
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