Trump signs a $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill,
hours after a veto threat.
The omnibus spending bill was crafted in secret that was passed under pressure; raises discretionary spending as the national debt grows; and fails to deliver on any major GOP priorities except increased defense spending. What could have been the signature achievement of unified Republican government for this year, is more akin to the sort of legislation that would have been right at home in the Obama administration.
Start with the process. The 2,232-page bill was written in secret by leaders of both parties, unveiled Wednesday night, and passed by the House a day and a half later. If the Senate didn’t pass the budget by Friday, the government would shut down. So much for the 72-hour rule Republicans sought back during Barack Obama’s first term. (Remember: “You have to vote for it to find out what is in it”?)
The procedural abuse means that many lawmakers are voting up-or-down on a bill they didn’t write and had no opportunity to debate. It adds up to a breakdown of the budgetary process, a particular embarrassment for Congress given that passing budgets is one of the few duties that it still discharges with regularity.
The massive, 13 percent increase in discretionary spending was prefigured by the agreement on budget caps that congressional leaders reached in February. It remains remarkable that, even with control over the branches of elected government, the GOP cannot secure funding for the military without dangling such unnecessary spending for domestic programs.
The specifics of the spending aren’t much better. The bill provides funding for immigration enforcement both internally and at the border, but the devil is in the details. Set aside that the dollar amount falls far short of what the Trump administration had requested: There are onerous restrictions even on the money that is appropriated, limiting, for instance, the number of illegal aliens that Immigration and Customs Enforcement can detain. Even with the leverage of DACA, Republicans failed to meaningfully tighten the immigration system.
On health care, the hope of deregulating the individual insurance market to counteract rising premiums has been dashed. It seems increasingly likely that the GOP has given up on repealing and replacing Obamacare and is unable even to reduce its continuing burdens on the public.
Meanwhile, the $21 billion in infrastructure funding is not offset with permitting reforms that could spur private investment. We welcome the defense spending, and the funds devoted to combating the opioid epidemic might make a difference. But if this bill winds up being the only major piece of legislation Congress passes in 2018, this year will be a legislative waste.
During the Obama administration, we argued that the federal budgetary process had become an exercise in reckless liberal overreach. The federal government was abusing the budgetary process, we said, wasting money and expanding itself at the expense of civil society. The hope was that once the GOP gained power, it would act with procedural integrity, begin to try to return the government to its proper role, and deliver significant conservative victories on budgetary policy.
Instead, Republicans are poised to pass an omnibus bill that, with the exception of the defense spending, is an embarrassment and a disgrace.
Ann Coulter says she is ready to get off the Trump Train and Worries The ‘Trump-Haters Were Right’.
Ann Coulter (amongst others) says she is ready to get off the Trump Train.
Conservative author Ann Coulter was one of the most vocal supporters of Donald Trump during the presidential campaign.
She wrote “In Trump We Trust” and proclaimed that she worships him like the “people of North Korea worship their Dear Leader – blind loyalty.”
Coulter described herself as a single-issue voter during the election and was drawn to Trump due to his “Mexican rapist speech” and him calling for a border wall to be built.
In an interview with The Daily Caller, Coulter let it be known she still has hope in the Trump presidency, but is ready to jump ship.
So there’s no wall, and Obama’s amnesties look like they are here to stay. Do you still trust Trump?
Uhhhh. I’m not very happy with what has happened so far. I guess we have to try to push him to keep his promises. But this isn’t North Korea, and if he doesn’t keep his promises I’m out. This is why we voted for him. I think everyone who voted for him knew his personality was grotesque, it was the issues.
I hate to say it, but I agree with every line in my friend Frank Bruni’s op-ed in The New York Times. Where is the great negotiation? Where is the bull in the china shop we wanted? That budget the Republicans pushed through was like a practical joke… Did we win anything? And this is the great negotiator?
You said during the election and in columns that if there is no wall it’s the end of America.
Trump was our last shot. I kind of thought it was Romney, and then lo and behold like a miracle Trump comes along. I still believe in Trumpism. I have no regrets for ferociously supporting him. What choice did we have?
We had no choice. Yeah, I mean, my fingers are still crossed. It’s not like I’m out yet, but boy, things don’t look good. I’ve said to other people, it’s as if we’re in Chicago and Trump tells us he’s going to get us to LA in six days. But for the first three days we are driving towards New York. Yes, it is true he can still turn around and get us to LA in three days, but I’m a little nervous.
What’s behind him driving towards New York?
If he grabs the steering wheel and turns around and takes us toward LA, then I’ll just put it down to him not being a professional politician and having to come into the presidency with no support network, with all of official Washington against him.
I have from the beginning been opposed to Trump hiring any of his relatives. Americans don’t like that, I don’t like that. That’s the one fascist thing he’s done. Hiring his kids.
But I understand if you’re in Washington you don’t know who to trust, the party was against you, the politicians were against you, the bureaucracy was against you, and by the way this isn’t to say anything bad about Jared. Everything I know about him, I think he’s doing a great job. But even if he is absolutely the best person for the job, I don’t like the hiring of relatives.
I could understand all that if he gets control of the steering wheel and turns around and starts going towards LA.
If we just keep going to New York. Well again, I’ll say we had no choice, but the Trump-haters were right…It’s a nightmare. I can’t even contemplate that. Right now I’m still rooting for him to turn around and take us toward LA.
Are you going to be apologizing to these Never Trumpers?
I don’t apologize for supporting Trump. He said all the right things and nobody else would even say it. I suppose it’s possible that another politician who really meant it would come along. There’s Kris Kobach, Tom Cotton, Jeff Sessions…there are probably a handful of politicians.
I got to tell you when I wrote “Adios America” I thought there was a 10 percent chance of saving the country. On the evening of November 8, I thought, “Wow we have a 90 percent chance now, this is a chance that comes a long once every thousand years, we can save America now.”
And now, I don’t know, I’m someplace between 10 percent and 90 percent.
How much blame does congressional leadership deserve?
I do, of course, blame Congress most of all. They are swine. They only care about their own careers. Who knows how much of it is corruption and how much of it is pure stupidity? People should start sending Paul Ryan bricks to indicate how much we want the wall.
They are the opposition party to Donald Trump. This is really something we’ve never seen before. The president stands alone, it’s his own political party, he’s Gary Cooper. All we have is millions of Americans behind him, but he doesn’t have anybody in Washington behind him.
During the campaign you said you would have to start writing mystery books if Hillary Clinton won. Are you preparing to start writing these?
No. But I must say I’ve been contemplating it a bit more. You can’t give up yet. We have to keep Trump’s feet to the fire. It’s weird because I really think in his heart he’s a genuine patriot.
It’s just that it has been such a disaster so far, and that General Kelly is so preposterous, and McMaster — did you see him at that press conference? I thought he was retarded. You have to link to that video.
I’ve never actually heard anyone other than liberals mocking their idea of a stupid Republican say, “Murica.”
[Trump] might not have realized how intense the opposition was going to be. Not on everything. Nobody else would have done the trade deals, that is to save American jobs. But they are not going to complain and massively resist on trade. They are not going to massively resist him on things like tax cuts. They are going to love for him to go to war, we have to try to resist him on that.
The one thing he will get massive resistance from every source in Washington including his “own party” is immigration.
What does your friend Matt Drudge think of all of this? Recently on Michael Savage’s radio show he seemed nervous about the Trump administration.
I’ll let him speak for himself, but I think all of the Trump true believers are petrified. Right now I’m still rooting for him
Uhhhh. I’m not very happy with what has happened so far. I guess we have to try to push him to keep his promises. But this isn’t North Korea, and if he doesn’t keep his promises I’m out. This is why we voted for him. I think everyone who voted for him knew his personality was grotesque, it was the issues, Coulter said.