Ryan budget aimed at de-railing Trump agenda

Ryan budget aimed at de-railing Trump agenda
March 26 14:21 2018 Print This Article

In a move reminiscent of the 2010 House vote on Obamacare, Speaker Paul Ryan furnished members with copies of the 2200 page 2018 omnibus spending bill only 16 hours before the scheduled vote. Radio talkshow host Rush Limbaugh stated on Friday that the bill was a trap designed to derail the agenda of President Donald Trump. The bill includes no funding for additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, more detention facilities for illegal aliens awaiting deportation, and an expansion of the Veterans Choice program, which would enable more veterans to seek care outside of Veterans Administration medical facilities when there is a backlog.  All were priorities requested by the Trump Administration.  Limbaugh reported that the $1.3 Trillion continuing resolution, which funds the federal government through September 30, specifically states where border barriers may be constructed and does not allow the prototype models recommended by the Border Patrol to be used.

Representative Mark Sanford (R-SC), one of the 90 House Republicans to vote against the spending measure, noted that the procedure violates the 2011 “3 Day Rule” adopted in the House rules in response to the Obamacare vote under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, when she infamously said to members, “You’ll have to vote for it to find out what is in it.”  The spending bill was passed with the votes of about half of the House Democrats, who got spending priorities they want for Planned Parenthood, National Public Radio and infrastructure projects.

Congress is supposed to vote on budgets by considering 12 individual appropriations categories, ranging from Agriculture to Veterans Affairs. That ended when Democrat Harry Reid took over as Senate Majority Leader in 2007. He rejected the “regular order” appropriations and chose to fund the government using massive omnibus continuing resolutions bills.  After Republican Mitch McConnell became Senate Majority Leader in 2015, he continued to bypass the appropriations process.

President Trump considered vetoing the spending bill but reluctantly voted for it because it included more than $60 Billion in new military spending.  It will fund two aircraft carriers, two attack submarines, an amphibious assault ship, 90 F-35 strike fighters, which can be used the the Air Force, Navy and Marines, and 24 carrier-based F/A-18 aircraft.  Limbaugh speculates that Trump may be able allocate some of the military funding to build sections of border wall. Ryan is a known opponent of building the wall.