It appears President Trump has found a new ally in Congress: the Democrats whose plan - derided earlier by Paul Ryan - to keep any 'fix' for the debt-ceiling, short-term; was approved over the Republicans' howls of objection. As The Hill reports, President Trump agreed with top congressional Democrats at a White House meeting to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling through Dec. 15. despite objections from virtually all GOP leaders.
"In the meeting, the President and Congressional leadership agreed to pass aid for Harvey, an extension of the debt limit, and a continuing resolution both to December 15, all together," Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement.
While the report give the impression of delightful civility, the reality was rather different, as Trump concluded a deal with Schumer, Pelosi et al behind Ryan and McConnell's backs. Politico's Jake Sherman reports that:
I am told by multiple sources Rs are furious. The Democratic ploy — to keep debt limit short term — worked. It took just a few hours.
TRUMP also agreed to extend government funding until December 15, setting up a wild final month of the year.
TRUMP agrees to 3-month debt limit increase in meeting w hill leaders. All GOP leaders were opposed, per multiple sources.
TO BE CLEAR: Debt limit, govt funding expires 12/15. Ryan, McConnell, McCarthy were all opposed. Trump, Pelosi, Schumer were on same side.
The agreement comes after Speaker Paul Ryan earlier in the day called the idea of adding a three-month extension of the debt ceiling to Hurricane Harvey aid "ridiculous" after the Democratic leaders proposed it. The initial Democratic offer did not mention the government funding.
Once cleared, the package would set up a end-of-the-year cliff on both funding the government and the debt ceiling. Schumer and Pelosi added that "both sides have every intention of avoiding default in December and look forward to working together on the many issues before us."
The Democrats had offered the idea of combining Harvey aid with a three-month extension of the debt limit earlier on Wednesday.
Ryan initially offered a dim review of the suggestion, accusing the Democrats of playing politics. Yet Ryan also faced opposition within his conference to a long extension of the debt limit.
Asked about the statement, a spokesman for McConnell predicted the Kentucky Republican would address the deal at a weekly leadership press conference scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
Citing a Republican close to leadership, Axios reports that: "Dems bluffed their way into total victory. They win the politics of DACA and leverage on debt in the winter. The fate is sealed - DACA will be reauthorized without strings, Schumer has inserted himself into all negotiations in the winter, including tax, spending and immigration."
And some additional perspective from Jake Sherman:
What just happened at the White House is what Republicans have been complaining about for months.
On many occasions, Rs have felt like they have a plan. Then Trump will hear something else, and he’ll agree, blowing up the GOP framework
On this occasion, Democrats feel like they’ve just completely rolled him. Now the debt ceiling will be a threat at least 1 more time in 2017 and Dems — looking to extract a win on DACA — have a host of must-pass bills in the hopper in 3 months. Rs think this is the worst outcome
As a result of Trump's deal with democrats, all three circles in Goldman's Venn Diagram of Fiscal Agenda "Doom" have now been "resolved", if only for another three months, until mid-December:
T-Bill yields confirmed their earlier plunge
... and gold is tumbling on the short-term can-kicking effort.
However, with the October Bill situation now resolved, it's the turn of the December 21 Bills to "kin" and sure enough:
As the can was kicked from Oct Bills to Dec Bills...
Update: here are some soundbites from Trump on board AF1:
- TRUMP SAYS HE BELIEVES CONGRESS WANTS A DEAL ON DACA, HE WILL SIGN IT IF THERE IS A DEAL
- TRUMP SAYS HE WOULD LIKE TO SEE BORDER SECURITY AND DACA MEASURES IN AN IMMIGRATION DEAL
- TRUMP SAYS HE WOULD LIKE TO SEE A PERMANENT DEAL AND HE THINKS IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN
- TRUMP SAYS FUNDING WILL BE ADDED TO HARVEY PACKAGE FOR HURRICANE DAMAGE IN FLORIDA
- TRUMP SAYS HE HAS A FEELING IT WON'T BE NECESSARY TO REVISIT DACA ISSUE IN SIX MONTHS BECAUSE CONGRESS WANTS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT
And the punchline, which will hardly be approved by Steve Bannon:
- TRUMP SAYS 'WE ESSENTIALLY CAME TO A DEAL' WITH DEMOCRATIC LEADERS AND 'I THINK THE DEAL WILL BE VERY GOOD'
Finally, putting it all in context is this 2013 tweet from Trump himself:
The worst negotiators in history (otherwise known as Republicans) have just offered to suspend debt ceiling for four months. Pathetic!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2013