(Caricature of Donald Trump is by DonkeyHotey.)
Donald Trump took the opportunity to speak from the White House yesterday in praise of the bipartisan deal reached in Congress to keep funding the government through September (and avoid a shut down of the government). He made it sound like he got what he wanted out of the bill, and played a big part in negotiating the bill. Neither of those things are true.
The truth is that Trump got almost nothing he wanted in the bill, and he must sign it anyway when it reaches his desk. If he doesn't, he will have to accept the blame for shutting down the government all by himself -- because Congress did its job. Since he's not going to take the blame for shutting down the government, or admit he got nothing he wanted out of the bill, he simply resorted to lying (which is his first reaction to all of his failures).
Ryan Koronowski at Think Progress details 14 ways in which Trump was the loser in this congressional funding bill:
1. No Funding for Trump’s border wall
Trump sought billions in funding a “down payment” for the wall, even though he campaigned on the claim that Mexico would pay for the wall, not U.S. taxpayers. However, there is reportedly language in the Bill explicitly barring construction of a new wall along the southern border. The Democratic appropriations summary says the omnibus “does not include… funding requested by President Trump to build a border wall or fencing on areas of the U.S.-Mexico border where no fencing currently exists.”
2. No provision to defund Planned Parenthood
Trump has repeatedly promised to defund the reproductive health organization, which provides health care, screenings, and birth control to underserved communities. He signed a law this month that makes it easier for states to withhold Planned Parenthood funding. But this didn’t make it into the budget deal. The Democratic appropriations summary states that the deal contains no language defunding Planned Parenthood.
3. No drastic cuts for EPA
The bill keeps 99 percent of funding for the EPA, according to congressional aides. The Environmental Protection Agency is already underfunded, so even a 1 percent cut will be felt among its critical programs, but this represents much less than the 31 percent cut Trump has proposed for the next fiscal year. All current staff positions would be protected.
4. No funding for Trump’s deportation force
Democrats told reporters Sunday night that the deal had no funding for a “deportation force,” another incendiary policy that Trump has proposed to crack down on undocumented immigrants across the country.
5. Funding for Obamacare subsidies
Last week, Trump dropped his opposition to funding subsides for low-income Americans to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. This deal contains those subsidies. (Outside of the budget deal, however, the law is still being undermined at the agency level, and can be threatened more in the coming months even without a repeal and replace bill.)
6. $2 billion increase for the NIH
The National Institutes of Health, which conducts life-saving medical research, has been a target of Trump’s budget officials since he took office. Nonetheless, the omnibus bill would send $34.1 billion to NIH — $2 billion more than the agency currently receives, and $3.2 billion more than the Trump administration wanted for FY 2017. This includes a down-payment on the Obama-Biden administration’s cancer research “moonshot” initiative.
7. Funding for Community Development Block Grants
According to his budget proposals, Trump would prefer to wipe out this program, which provides funding for Meals on Wheels programs around the country and helps low-income people who no longer have an affordable place to live. However, the omnibus budget would provide $3 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) — the same level of funding as exists now.
8. No provision to defund sanctuary cities
Trump has famously attacked “sanctuary cities,” a term used for cities and towns that decide to not cooperate with federal efforts to arrest undocumented immigrants. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was shut down in court last week for threatening to cut funding from such jurisdictions. The omnibus does not contain any language prohibiting funds for these cities.
9. Funding for Puerto Rico
Last week, Trump drew a line in the sand on funding for Puerto Rico, currently grappling with a debt crisis:
He told Reuters the next day: “I don’t think that’s fair to the people of Iowa, and I don’t think it’s fair to the people of Wisconsin and Ohio and North Carolina and Pennsylvania that we should be bailing out Puerto Rico for billions and billions of dollars.”
Nonetheless, the budget deal reportedly includes $295 million for Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program.
10. Half of the requested funding for the military
Trump asked for a $30 billion increase in military spending for this fiscal year, and got half of that in the current budget deal. Some in the military were reportedly concerned that Trump would not be able to fulfill his promises to add hundreds of ships, a dozen infantry battalions, and over 1,000 aircraft to “rebuild” the armed forces.
11. Less than half of the requested funding for border security
The Trump administration wanted $3 billion more for border security, and instead will get $1.2 billion under the plan. This funding would go to technology and infrastructure improvements. The Democratic appropriations summary says the agreement “does not include a statutory requirement from prior years to maintain a minimum number of detention beds” or a “longstanding statutory requirement to maintain a minimum number of detention beds.”
12. Funding for high-speed rail
California’s high-speed rail project will continue to get $100 million in federal funding under the deal, despite the Trump administration’s decisionin February to bow to Republican pressure in Congress and block $647 million in federal grants. That decision to block funding put the project, which would help electrify the currently-unelectrified spur connecting the proposed corridor to San Francisco, in “serious jeopardy.” But if the deal goes forward, Caltrain makes the short list of projects that get funding. “The T-HUD bill does not include a rider that prevents the Federal Railroad Administration from administering a grant agreement for a high speed rail project in California,” the Democratic appropriations summary said.
13. Rise in non-defense domestic spending
Trump has called for $18 billion in cuts to domestic discretionary spending, but instead will have to sign a bill that grows the size of government. Several provisions in the omnibus — including the $4.6 billion Appalachian coal miners health extension and $2 billion in disaster relief — ensure that the budget will continue to rise even separate from the defense spending. This effectively breaks Trump’s campaign promises to cut domestic spending, zero out the deficit, and shrink the debt.
14. No other poison pills
Even the most reasonable budget bill could be ruined by an extreme amendment unrelated to budgetary policy, called a rider or a poison pill, which have doomed budget plans in years past. There was concern that the GOP would attach policy riders to this budget deal, but according to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the deal currently has none. That’s not to say that there will not be a push to attach one to the bill, but for right now, it appears to be a clean bill.