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Published: Sun, April 23, 2017
Health | By Kristina Bennett

Trump's budget chief says money for border wall a must

Trump's budget chief says money for border wall a must

The U.S. government will run out of money at midnight next Friday if lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are unable to reach an agreement on a temporary spending bill. But the major problem with this idea is that Trump also consistently promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, and Democrats can plausibly object that the American people should not have to foot the bill.

"We have the leverage and they have the exposure", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on a call with Democratic members, according to an Associated Press report. 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.

Democrats responded harshly to Mulvaney's remarks Thursday.

But one of the most seismic shifts in the wake of Trump's victory is the backlash against Republicans in elections all over the country.

The GOP would still be in control of the White House, and in the 2020 elections Republican voters could turn around and vote for a Republican candidate for president - most likely Pence - and Republican candidates for Congress and the Senate.

"There's a big spread between the bid and the ask here", the White House official said, noting that Trump wanted thirty billion dollars for defense, several billion for more ICE agents and the border wall, as well as eighteen billion dollars in cuts to domestic spending and the ability to withhold federal money from cities that don't coöperate with immigration officials. At the same time, there's something they want very badly that we don't like very much, which are these cost-sharing reductions of the Obamacare payments.

"One hundred days is the marker, and we've got essentially 2 1/2 weeks to turn everything around", an anonymous White House official was quoted recently by Politico as saying. After that gambit was met with crickets, Democrats counterattacked by demanding the subsidies be included in the funding bill, which would essentially take the ability to kill the subsidies and mess up health-insurance coverage for millions of people out of Trump's hands.

"I think we're in good shape" on avoiding a deadlock on the funding, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Friday.

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As for the Democrats, they are using Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's playbook during the Obama years to try to gum up the works.

Leadership in the House and the Senate from both parties seemed fairly confident before the recess that the appropriations committees were on track to come together with a package of bills funding the government for the remainder of fiscal year 2017.

Mulvaney added, "If Democrats are interested and serious about compromise and negotiation, the ball is in their court".

Trump said, "The plan gets better and better and better". The Senate returns to Washington tomorrow and the House on Tuesday, leaving a few days to negotiate.

The plan is "in its early discussions" and won't be ready until the fall, Mulvaney said.

The White House has said previously that all funding and financing options are being considered.

Public-private partnerships, for example, require a revenue stream such as tolls or regular tax payments that aren't feasible in rural and low-income areas or for refurbishments and other types of projects, critics say.

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