After creating chaos earlier this morning by threatening to veto the proposed Senate and Congressional omnibus spending bill, adding an additional 1.3 trillion dollars to the previous 1.7 trillion added by the Republican tax reform law passed just over a month ago, Mr. Trump finally decided to sign the legislation, announcing his decision to a pool of reporters in the Diplomat Room of the White House this afternoon.
All of this, after Mr. Trump characterized the bill and the process surrounding it as “ridiculous.” This very well may be the first truth Trump has told us. There are several reasons the bill is ridiculous.
The first reason this bill is ridiculous is due to the chaotic nature the bill was finally agreed to. To be clear: Trump himself created this chaos.
With lawmakers already on their way out of town for the Easter Break, Mr. Trump managed to turn the entire decision into one more akin to the drama seen on reality-television shows. Said Trump, earlier this morning through Twitter:
“I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded.”
A second reason the bill is ridiculous is due to DACA recipients still not having protection in our nation with Mr.Trump blaming Democrats for the problem.
But while Trump blames Democrats for abandoning recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, it is noteworthy that it was none other than Mr. Trump himself who rescinded the program initiated by former President Obama. At that time, despite a bipartisan agreement reached in committee, Mr. Obama out of necessity implemented the program due to Congress’ inability and refusal to allow that agreement to the floor for a vote.
Video of Explanation on DACA:
While true the White House attempted to persuade Democrats to extending DACA by providing a mere two years of protection for these recipients, with no guarantees beyond, in exchange for Trump’s full 25 Billion dollars funding for the Wall he continually tells his supporters Mexico will pay for, Democrats demurred. As The New York Times reports:
“Democrats countered by saying they would agree to the full $25 billion only if the president agreed to a pathway to citizenship for a much broader population of young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, well over a million people — a deal that was similar to an earlier offer from Mr. Trump. The White House rejected the Democratic offer.”
Let me be clear: Republicans and Mr. Trump promised Democrats and notably one of their own, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on each of the several stop gap measures funding our government that a bipartisan vote would occur on the floor. When Senate Democrats refused to buckle in January leading the government to shutdown for a weekend, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said these words in order to get the government re-opened:
“Should these issues not be resolved by the time the funding bill before us expires on February 8, so long as the government remains open,” the Republican leader said in his floor speech — repeating for emphasis “so long as the government remains open,” — “it would be my intention to take up legislation here in the Senate that would address DACA and border security, as well as other related issues.”
But notice what Trump and Republicans have done with DACA: They have turned the entire matter into one of immigration which does nothing for those who are already here in our nation through no fault of their own. With nearly 700,000 recipients currently living in our nation at this time, coupled with the prolific deportation taking place under this administration, I wonder how those recipients feel right about now?
Make no mistake: When Trump negotiates the future lives of Dreamers in order to obtain his funding for a Wall that many do not want built, he is extorting these people as political pawns.
A third reason this spending bill is ridiculous is due to Trump’s repeated claim that our military is depleted. Let me be clear: It isn’t. With its roots in conservative talking points while former President Obama was in office, all in an effort to portray him as an appeaser, the talking point is merely a myth. Caroline Dorminey, policy analyst from the Cato Institute, writes in The Hill that the “military isn’t depleted,” but overworked.
During his last State of the Union Address, President Obama told Congress that our nation “spends more on our military than the next eight nations combined,” with PolitiFact rating the President’s claim as mostly true. Contrast this statement with Trump’s persistent contention that our “military is depleted,” while neglecting to consider the federal budget process, and his apparent lack of realizing two wars came to a close under Obama, all earning him a Three Pinocchios rating by the Washington Post.
Simply, Trump is misleading Americans as the data reflects in the Post’s piece and he and his Republican colleagues were just rewarded as this has always been a Republican priority along with tax breaks for the wealthy, all while cutting programs benefiting the least of these.
A final reason this spending bill is ridiculous is due to the blatant hypocrisy of Republicans who constantly balked at the deficit under Obama. Undoubtedly, this budget provided for some Democratic initiatives, but still, where is the outcry from Republicans over the deficit? Crickets. Last go around, at least Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) voiced his concern over the deficit and hypocritical stance taken by Republicans when they gave a tax-break to the wealthiest.
This time? Not so much.
So Trump admitted the bill was “ridiculous” and signed it anyway. The problem is the bill is ridiculous, and now it is law.
A social psychologist by day, political analyst and journalist by night, Dr. Mark Bear has built an established audience by printing facts, without click-bait, sensationalism, or hyperbole. He is married to his wife of 34 years, and both he and his wife, Susan, have a Schnauzer named Shadow. Follow along by connecting with Doc on Facebook or Twitter under the handle Dr. Progressive!