With a robust economy and relatively calm foreign policy waters, President Donald Trump’s critics have little to hit him on when it comes to policy initiatives, outside of fear-mongering over immigration and the budget deficits he’s running.
As for running in the red, the president has been very focused on rebuilding the U.S. military, which was depleted after eight years of the Obama administration, but he is planning to make the budget a serious priority in his second term, if reelected.
“President Trump has instructed aides to prepare for sweeping budget cuts if he wins a second term in the White House, five people briefed on the discussions said, a move that would dramatically reverse the big-spending approach he adopted during his first 30 months in office,” the Washington Post reported.
An effort that will see much more success if Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives.
With the federal debt ceiling needing to be increased, the newspaper reported on a conflict between spending restraints and a cuts as talks with Democrats take place this week.
“That’s a very, very sacred thing in our country, debt ceiling,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office last week. “We can never play with it, so I would have to assume we’re in great shape.”
“When I first came into office,” the president said, “I asked about the debt ceiling. … And I said, I remember to Sen. Schumer and to Nancy Pelosi, ‘Would anybody ever use that to negotiate with?’ They said, ‘Absolutely not.’”
“That’s a sacred element of our country. They can’t use the debt ceiling to negotiate.”
It was reported last week that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have been burning up the phone lines, which could indicate that there is trouble on the horizon in the urgent need to raise the debt limit.
Pelosi is reportedly insisting on a deal on “spending priorities,” which is a ploy to lift mandatory spending caps Congress imposed in a 2011. She may be willing to give a little while pushing for “parity,” which takes the form of a bump for all non-defense programs.
But the Post reported that talks between Mnuchin and Pelosi have also bogged down in recent days over a request from Trump advisers for $150 billion in spending cuts.
In effect, Pelosi wants to spend more while being asked to agree to cuts.
With Congress about to break for the summer next week, the pressure is on to bump the debt ceiling — in order to avoid a catastrophic default, Mnuchin has said the debt ceiling needs to be increased by early September.
As for the nearly $1 trillion budget deficit, it’s almost like Trump is being egged on by the media to announce cuts to the entitlement programs Medicare and Social Security ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is advising the president to hold off on any spending fights until after the 2020 elections, saying this could turn voters away from Republicans, the Post reported.
In the end, raising the debt ceiling will have to happen. The only question is, how far will Speaker Pelosi be willing to go to politicize the process in hopes of making Trump look bad and harm his reelection chances.
With a deal needed this week, the nation should get a reprieve from Democrats crying crocodile tears over an immigration crisis they all but ensured with there open border stance.