Democrats Spike the Ball Over Omnibus — Too Early? [UPDATED]
[UPDATE by JVW: It’s signed into law.]
Democrats are spiking the football over the omnibus today. Indeed, the headline in the Washington Examiner says exactly that: Schumer, Democrats spike the football over the spending bill.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., boasted Monday that the $1 trillion spending deal struck between Democrats and Republicans over the weekend is a win for Democrats and the public, in part because it doesn’t provide $1.5 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S./Mexico border as requested by President Trump.
“It’s a great deal. We think it’s a very good deal for the American people,” Schumer said before pointing to over 160 “poison pill riders” that Democrats got rid of prior to the agreement, including on proposed cuts to women’s health and the environment and rollbacks of Dodd-Frank. “We’re very gratified with the result.”
It might have been smart to wait. Today, as Brandon Morse notes, Trump is threatening a veto:
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018
Who can blame Democrats for assuming Trump would sign the bill? He sent every signal that he would. If you doubt this, don’t. Trump sent out Mick Mulvaney yesterday to say in no uncertain terms that Trump would sign the bill, as reported at the notoriously left-wing anti-Trump #FakeNews site Breitbart:
President Donald Trump will sign the proposed Omnibus spending bill, White House officials confirmed on Thursday, even though the 2,232-page bill has yet to pass through Congress.
“Let’s cut right to the chase: Is the President going to sign the bill?” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters at a White House briefing. “The answer is yes.”
The budget director made a practical case for the Republican-led budget process, even though he admitted that it was not “perfect.”
“This is what a bill looks like when you have 60 votes in the Senate when the Democrats get a chance to take their pound of flesh in order to defend the nation,” he said.
Mulvaney said the $1.3 trillion spending bill funded the president’s budget priorities including a big boost in defense spending, opioids, border security, school safety, workforce development, and infrastructure.
Trump’s own Twitter feed echoed Mulvaney’s sentiments yesterday, boasting about the good aspects of the bill and taking a “Democrats got their pound of flesh but whaddya gonna do?” attitude towards the bad parts:
Got $1.6 Billion to start Wall on Southern Border, rest will be forthcoming. Most importantly, got $700 Billion to rebuild our Military, $716 Billion next year…most ever. Had to waste money on Dem giveaways in order to take care of military pay increase and new equipment.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2018
Anyway, what changed between yesterday’s “the President will sign the bill” and today’s veto consideration? Hmmmm:
—> @PeteHegseth this morning on Fox and Friends:
“This is a swamp budget. This is a Mitch McConnell special … apparently its the Democrats that control the process. If Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are happy the American people shouldn't be."
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) March 23, 2018
Schumer and Pelosi spiking the football too early + Fox & Friends = a potent brew for erratic presidential behavior.
Anyway, it seems exciting that Trump is considering a veto — until you look at what his complaints are in the tweet above: not enough amnesty and not enough spending.
I get the anger over the bill, which I share. Look at my post from earlier this morning, which lists a whole host of problems with the bill. But “not enough amnesty and not enough spending” were not among the listed problems.
Trump is not saying, let’s cut some funding from this monstrosity so we can fully fund a border wall. He’s just saying: toss another $24 billion on top. I’m all for funding a wall, but not by adding billions and billions of dollars to this already bloated bill. Life is about trade-offs, not about just paying for everything that everybody wants, like we do every time. We need to make spending choices.
But that’s not what this veto threat is about. Thomas Massie is worried too:
I’m all for a veto of #omnibust 1.0, but would omnibust 2.0 have even more spending ? https://t.co/RhnVTWn8td
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) March 23, 2018
Anyway. You literally never know what this Trump guy is going to do from one moment to the next. His advisers may take him aside and tell him he has to sign it. Here’s an indication that might be happening:
NEWS ALERT: Secretary Mattis calling @POTUS to warn of threat to defense spending if budget is vetoed. https://t.co/Q2UXfbOYfL pic.twitter.com/HPaZR71z1l
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 23, 2018
He might go along with the advice from his advisers. He might not. This is all what makes this episode so special. It’s must-see teevee. STAY TUNED!!!!
But Democrats know as well as anyone else that he is unpredictable. So they might have waited to spike the football.
All that said, he’ll probably still sign it.
[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]