Tuesday, May 28, 2019

President Trump Should Veto Bad Spending Bills – Like This One

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
President Trump recognizes that Congress spends too much money on wasteful programs and not enough on border security. Yet he can’t seem to extend his Twitter opposition to their proposals to a full-fledged veto threat. By agreeing to sign every swampy budget bill, including even supplemental spending with no clear “must pass” deadline, he is giving away any leverage he might ever have to enact his priorities, not just until 2020, but even for the four years thereafter of potential Republican trifecta control of government.
Headed into this week, Democrats demanded $19 billion in more spending, including another Puerto Rico bailout, with no funding for the biggest crisis of all – the border. President Trump vigorously criticized the Puerto Rico bailout. His own budget calls for much lower spending levels, and he demanded $4.3 billion in border funding. So Republican leaders, led by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., did what they typically do, which is “split the difference” and “compromise” … by giving Democrats everything they want on wasteful programs and allocating nothing on border security. They wagered that Trump’s opposition would soften the minute they agree to pass the bill. They were right. Rather than vetoing the bill, the president promised to sign it.
The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2019
Just eight Senate Republicans opposed the bill on Thursday. Today it is headed back to the House, where Democrats are trying to pass it without a recorded vote. (Update: Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, refused unanimous consent in the House, forcing a recorded vote and delaying the bill until after Congress returns from the holiday recess.)
The excuses are always the same. For the first two years, it was the 60-vote threshold in the Senate. Now it’s the Pelosi-controlled House. For the second term it will be the 60-vote threshold in the Senate again. But everyone is missing the point. The president’s ironclad commitment to backing his initial opposition with an irrevocable veto threat will change the arc of debate over these bills and give him leverage to at least secure some of his priorities, even as we spend ourselves into oblivion.
Read the rest from Daniel Horowitz HERE.

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