Dems Thump Trump in First Budget Negotiations with Congress | May 01, 2017

Eight ways Trump got rolled in his first budget negotiation

|| WashingtonPost

“Democrats celebrate as Trump caves in his first budget negotiation”Democrats are surprised by just how many concessions they extracted in the trillion-dollar deal, considering that Republicans have unified control of the government. Democratic leaders Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi quickly put out celebratory statements last night. Republican leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan did not. Here are eight ways President Trump got rolled.

THE BIG IDEA: Perhaps the best negotiators are not the people who tell everyone that they are the best negotiators.

A spending agreement was reached last night that will keep the government funded through the end of September. This will be the first significant bipartisan measure passed by Congress since Donald Trump took office.

— The White House agreed to punt on a lot of the president’s top priorities until this fall to avert a shutdown on Friday and to clear the deck so that the House can pass a health-care bill. “This is going to be a great week,” Gary Cohn, Trump’s chief economic adviser, said on CBS this morning. “We’re going to get health care down to the floor of the House. We’re convinced we’ve got the votes, and we’re going to keep moving on with our agenda.”

But Democrats are surprised by just how many concessions they extracted in the trillion-dollar deal, considering that Republicans have unified control of government.

Now that the language has posted, here are the eight most notable areas Trump caved in his first big spending negotiation:

1. There are explicit restrictions to block the border wall. We knew last week there would be no money to start construction on a project that the president says is more important to his base than anything else. But the final agreement goes further, putting strict limitations on how Trump can use new money for border security (e.g. to invest in new technology and repair existing fencing). Administration officials have insisted they already have the statutory authority to start building the wall under a 2006 law. This prevents such an end run.

The $1.5 billion for border security is also half as much as the White House requested. Additionally, there are no cuts in funding to sanctuary cities, something a federal judge said last week would be required for the Justice Department to follow through on its threats. And there is also no money for a deportation force.

2. Non-defense domestic spending will go up, despite the Trump team’s insistence he wouldn’t let that happen. The president called for $18 billion in cuts. Instead, he’s going to sign a budget with lots of sweeteners that grow the size of government. Mitch McConnell made sure $4.6 billion got put aside to permanently extend health benefits to 22,000 retired Appalachian coal miners and their families. Nancy Pelosi made sure $295 million was included to shore up Medicaid in Puerto Rico. Chuck Schumer got $61 million to reimburse local law enforcement agencies for the cost of protecting Trump when he travels to his residences in Florida and New York. There is also another $2 billion in disaster relief money for states, which bought a couple votes. (Kelsey Snell, our lead budget reporter, has more examples.)

3. Barack Obama’s cancer moonshot is generously funded. The administration asked to slash spending at the National Institutes of Health by $1.2 billion for the rest of this fiscal year. Instead, the NIH will get a $2 billion boost — on top of the huge increase it got last year. Republican appropriators who care about biomedical research, including Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), delivered.

Trump also failed in his efforts to cut money for other kinds of scientific inquiry. For example, he proposed defunding the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy. Instead, it is getting a $15 million increase.

4. Trump fought to cut the Environmental Protection Agency by a third. The final deal trims its budget by just 1 percent, with no staff cuts. As part of a compromise, the EPA gets $80 million less than last year, but the budget is $8 billion.

5. He didn’t defund Planned Parenthood. Despite the best efforts of social conservatives, the group will continue to receive funding at current levels.

6. The president got less than half as much for the military as he said was necessary. Trump repeatedly prodded Congress to increase military spending by $30 billion. He’s getting $12.5 billion, with an additional $2.5 billion if/when he delivers a detailed plan on how to defeat the Islamic State. Many Democrats from states with bases and manufacturers, especially those up for reelection in 2018, wanted this, too. Like Trump, they will tout the increased spending as a victory. The White House plans to call this a down payment on a much bigger investment down the road.

7. Democrats say they forced Republicans to withdraw more than 160 riders. These unrelated policy measures, which each could have been a poison pill, would have done things like get rid of the fiduciary rule and water down environmental regulations. On the other side of the ledger, this budget blocks the Justice Department from restricting the dispensing of medical marijuana in states where it has been legalized.

8. To keep negotiations moving, the White House already agreed last week to continue paying Obamacare subsidies. This money, which goes to insurance companies, reduces out-of-pocket expenses for low-income people who get coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration justifies giving up on this because of the potential to resolve the bigger issue by repealing Obamacare.”

….Continue reading more @ WashingtonPost

 

Lawmakers settle on $1T plan to avoid US gov’t shutdown

|| Breitbart

“Lawmakers on Monday unveiled a huge $1 trillion-plus spending bill that would fund most government operations through September but would deny President Donald Trump money for a border wall and rejects his proposed cuts to popular domestic programs.

The 1,665-page bill agreed to on Sunday is the product of weeks of negotiations. It was made public in the predawn hours Monday and is tentatively scheduled for a House vote on Wednesday.

The catchall spending bill would be the first major piece of bipartisan legislation to advance during Trump’s short tenure in the White House. While losing on funding for the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump won a $15 billion down payment on his request to strengthen the military, though that too fell short of what he requested.

The measure funds the remainder of the 2017 budget year, through Sept. 30, rejecting cuts to popular domestic programs targeted by Trump such as medical research and infrastructure grants.

Successful votes later this week would also clear away any remaining threat of a government shutdown — at least until the Oct. 1 start of the 2018 budget year. Trump has submitted a partial 2018 budget promising a whopping $54 billion, 10 percent increase for the Pentagon from current levels, financed by cutting to foreign aid and other nondefense programs by an equal amount. Negotiators on the pending measure, however, rejected a smaller $18 billion package of cuts and instead slightly increased funding for domestic programs.

Democrats were quick to praise the deal.

Some Republican conservatives, however, were wary. “I think you’re going to see conservatives have some real concerns with this legislation,” Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio said on CNN, citing domestic spending obtained by Democrats and other issues. “We told (voters) we were going to do a short-term spending bill that was going to come due at the end of April so that we could fight on these very issues, and now it looks like we’re not going to do that.”

Trump said at nearly every campaign stop last year that Mexico would pay for the 2,000-mile (3218.54-kilometer) border wall, a claim Mexican leaders have repeatedly rejected. The administration sought some $1.4 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars for the wall and related costs in the spending bill, but Trump later relented and said the issue could wait until September.

Trump, however, obtained $1.5 billion for border security measures such as 5,000 additional detention beds, an upgrade in border infrastructure and technologies such as surveillance.

The measure is assured of winning bipartisan support in votes this week; the House and Senate have until midnight Friday to pass the measure to avert a government shutdown. It’s unclear, however, how much support the measure will receive from GOP conservatives such as Jordan and how warmly it will be received by the White House.

Democrats played a strong hand in the talks since their votes are needed to pass the bill, even though Republicans control both the White House and Congress. As a result, the measure doesn’t look much different than the deal that could have been struck on President Barack Obama’s watch last year.

GOP leaders decided against trying to use the must-do spending bill to “defund” Planned Parenthood. The White House also backed away from language to take away grants from “sanctuary cities” that do not share information about people’s immigration status with federal authorities. Trump’s request for additional immigration agents was denied and the IRS budget would be frozen at $11.6 billion.”

….Continue reading @ Breitbart

 

Bored with winning: New spending bill has no money for the wall, no cuts to sanctuary cities, funding for Planned Parenthood

|| HotAir

“Surveying the total fiscal wreckage of this deal, Philip Klein comments that it’s what you’d expect if Democrats controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress rather than the GOP. If you think that’s an exaggeration, spend some time with Bloomberg’s report and take in the full extent of this defeat. A blockquote can’t do it justice.

If Boehner had negotiated this deal, right-wing media would destroy him for it. If Ryan had negotiated this deal under Obama, right-wing media would destroy him for it. But because Trump’s going to sign this deal — I assume — and call it a “victory” since it avoids a shutdown until September, we’re looking at half a day of grumbles. Maybe.”

…More @ HotAir