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Trump budget chief: Spending bill must have money for wall

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Andrew Harnik Associated Press	 White House budget director Mick Mulvaney spoke at the White House in Washington

Leaders from both parties in the House and Senate continue to hammer out a funding bill ahead of next week's deadline, and they say they continue to be optimistic that the negotiations will yield a deal to avoid a government shutdown. Mulvaney suggested that if Trump didn't get his defense spending and border wall-which, it should be noted, he promised would be paid for by Mexico-then the federal payments, known as cost-sharing reduction subsidies, or C.S.R., that pay for health insurance for millions of Americans under Obamacare had to be cut from the spending bill.

He said the wall is "something that's a tremendous priority for us and that clearly was a seminal issue in the 2016 presidential race".

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the White House comments make it "more difficult" to reach an agreement, arguing that there is intense opposition to the wall from Democrats in both the House and Senate. What Trump's latest scheme indicates is that he doesn't have the Republican votes needed to pay for the wall, so he is holding your health care hostage unless you pay for the wall.

"They need to get a win, it appears", Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens), a member of House Democratic leadership, told the Daily News on Thursday. Most likely with an omnibus spending bill - an amalgamation of 11 year-long spending bills crammed into one legislative behemoth.

Some look to a Kaiser Health tracking poll earlier this month that showed 61 percent of voters saying that "President Trump and Republicans in Congress are now in control of the government and they are responsible for any problems with [Obamacare] moving forward".

The former SC congressman said in an interview with the Associated Press that the wall is a "tremendous priority" for the Trump administration and will be a top request on the White House wish list for spending legislation.

Democrat Representative Nina Lowey said she does not "see how we can meet that deadline". Right now, that's the offer that we've given to our Democratic colleagues. Negotiations have faltered because of disputes over the border wall and health law subsidies to help low-income people afford health insurance.

A spending bill and a threatened government shutdown will greet Congress when it returns from a recess next week. Trump has tried to deny this, insisting that Obamacare is failing already and that Democrats "own" its impending collapse. "There's going to be plenty in here that the White House can claim victory on".

Goldman Sachs (GS) policy analyst Alec Phillips said this week the government has about a one-in-four chance of shutting down on April 29, arguing the real red flag won't arrive until October. The officials asked not to be identified because discussions of the plan are private.

"Probably use it with something else that's a little bit harder to get approved, in order to get that approved", Trump said during an appearance in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday. Although a unified Republican conference would not need Democratic support to advance legislation, some budget hawks are likely to vote against the deal, leaving the GOP with a narrow margin for error.

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