Lawmakers in both parties celebrated reaching a spending deal that would avoid a government shutdown this week, but President Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to argue that the country "needs a good shutdown" to fix Senate rules that require him to negotiate with Democrats.
The deal struck by Republican and Democratic leaders to fund the government through Sept. 30 includes some of the increased defense spending Trump had requested but not funding for his wall along the Mexican border. It also continues subsidies for health insurance under Obamacare and provides emergency funding for Puerto Rico, where a budget crisis has threatened Medicaid payments. Both were big Democratic priorities.
Congress is expected to vote on the deal in the next couple of days; the government is currently funded only through Friday under a temporary measure passed last week.
Trump tweeted Tuesday that the deal had to be negotiated because Republicans can't push a bill through the Senate without bipartisan support. He then suggested changing Senate rules to scrap the minority party's ability to block legislation, and said a government shutdown would help.
The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2017
either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good "shutdown" in September to fix mess!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2017
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., changed the Senate rules this year to allow Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed without Democratic support, but he said he would not change the rules for other legislation.
Democrats expressed dismay at the president advocating a government shutdown.
Those who care and pay attention and who can remember waaaaaaaaay back to 2013 know there is no such thing as a "good shutdown". https://t.co/i2mu8CriNF— Jim Himes (@jahimes) May 2, 2017
During 2013 shutdown in CO, 53,000 workers sent home w/o pay. 30 labs closed. $24 billion lost. There’s no such thing as a “good shutdown.” https://t.co/L0Cl2BVTbV— Michael F. Bennet (@SenBennetCO) May 2, 2017
How could a shutdown be good, with parks closed, gov't services unavailable and people furloughed? Answer: Golf at Mar-a-lago unaffected. pic.twitter.com/wUxImQJfUq— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 2, 2017