President Donald Trump is showing to one and all he is boss, even to party mates. Republican leaders have plans to avoid a government shutdown this week by passing a stopgap funding bill even if it is facing challenges. But as far as Trump is concerned, he is opposed to such plans.
In a Twitter message, the President said he is not in favor of the GOP proposal of attaching long-term funding for children’s health care to a short-term spending measure.
House GOP leaders were planning to hold a vote late Thursday on an extension of current spending levels through February 16 and were targeting to use a six-year reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program to pressure Democrats to vote for it.
Trump expressed his opposition to such a plan with his tweet: “CHIP should be part of a long-term solution, not a 30 Day, or short-term, extension!”
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">CHIP should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension!</p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/953984671674662912?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 18, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
The President also tweeted that a government shutdown will be very devastating for the military, something he says that the Dems care very little about.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">A government shutdown will be devastating to our military…something the Dems care very little about!</p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/953987636057821184?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 18, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
House Republicans also did not have enough support from their own members to pass the short-term bill if they would not tap Democrats’ help.
Fiscal hawks have withheld their support with the intention of pushing leadership to pair the short-term bill with funding for the Pentagon for the rest of the fiscal year. Fiscal hawks are mainly under the banner of the House Freedom Caucus. Others want a floor vote on a conservative immigration plan.
Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said on Wednesday night that there are not enough votes to fund it if they go by Republican-only votes.
Republicans for their part can only afford to lose 21 of their own and still pass the bill even without support from the Democratic votes. As such, some 30 members of the Freedom Caucus still hold significant sway.
House Speaker Paul Ryan was looking at putting Democrats in a bind by folding the CHIP extension into the stopgap measure, challenging them to vote against it as they have threatened to do so unless a deal is reached to restore deportation protections for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
The popular program CHIP which provides health care overage to 9 million children worldwide expired in September last year.
Two Republicans, Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D. and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have both announced that they will vote against another short-term spending bill. Then there’s also GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona who is still out of Washington to undergo brain cancer treatment. As such, at least 12 Senate Democratic caucus members would need to vote with Republicans to keep the government open.