President Donald Trump has signed off on a $15 billion bill that will provide funds for the Hurricane Harvey relief effort which includes a short-term suspension of the debt ceiling and will keep the government funded until December 8th.
The House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 316-90, with all votes against coming from Republicans. Just the day before, 17 votes against the bill in Senate also came from Republicans. This deal comes after a Wednesday meeting in which the president met with Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and leading GOP members.
The White House legislative director, Marc Short, said about Wednesday’s historic meeting that “We believe that it’s something to clear the deck,” and that this allows Congress to “focus on tax reform for the American people.”
It seems that President Trump has done what he was elected to do: Make deals. There was a clear stalemate on discussions between Democrats and the GOP, with both sides asking for things the other was not willing to concede, and now Trump has “taken the hit.”
His decision to side with the Democrats on this, despite annoying senior GOP figures, will only serve him well. The decision on the deal was made to ensure that victims of Hurricane Harvey can be adequately looked after; it was a humanitarian call. And, of course, there have likely been agreements on other areas conceded by Schumer and Pelosi, specifically about tax reform.
It is worth remembering that the Republicans have not given the president an easy ride. He has been fought by his own party on most major issues and had to rely on people who do not support him to push the MAGA agenda. By “crossing the aisle” on this, he has issued a stark warning to the Never-Trumpers and obstructionists in his own party that he doesn’t need them to keep the government moving.
Seeing a display of nonpartisanship by a leading politician is always a breath of relief. The author of “The Art of the Deal” has shown that he can make deals when he needs to. Paul Ryan may not like it, but the president made the right choice. He put the safety and well-being of Americans above any other agenda. And while it may not win the leftist media around to his side, he can at least rest assured that they daren’t criticize him too much over his decision.
Making a deal to do what’s best for the American people? Putting country before party? It sounds Presidential to me!