In an administration of on-going confusion and apparent shifting of loyalties, President Donald Trump has recently decided to throw his lot in with Democrats regarding the issues of the debt ceiling. In the midst of crisis following the recent string of natural disasters with hurricanes striking southern parts of the country as well as Puerto Rico, President Trump decided to sit down with Senator Charles Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California to discuss an agreeable middle ground for borrowing limitations with a significant national debt still looming overhead.
“We agreed to a three-month extension on debt ceiling, which they consider to be sacred – very important – always we’ll agree on debt ceiling automatically because of the importance of it.”
Suffice it to say, this left a rather disagreeable taste in the mouths of his closest advisors, including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, with whom Trump allegedly cut off and contradicted in a staff meeting discussing the possibilities of a long-term plan. The decision to strike a short-term deal with Democrats comes with criticism and divisiveness (ironically, something that Trump hoped to avoid by working more closely with the Democratic party), particularly with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Pennsylvania.
“I think that’s ridiculous and disgraceful that they want to play politics with the debt ceiling at this moment when we have fellow citizens in need,” Ryan had told reporters.
Siding with Democrats as President Trump now has has left Republicans in the precarious position regarding other political issues as well. Although Trump has been in the process of attempting to phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), he has also conspicuously hinted at proposing new legislation to replace the program, going against the GOP agenda that regards such a program as the closest thing to illegal amnesty without actually being such. Despite this, open criticism about the President’s decision to side with Democrats on the issue has been minimal.
Senator Schumer and Representative Pelosi apparently don’t get off scot-free with all of this interaction either. Their discussions with President Trump were met with criticism from within their own party as well.
“So Trump attacks our dreamers, and the next day the Democrats walk in there and say, ‘Oh, let’s just have a nice timeout,’ while they’re all suffering? That is what is wrong with Democrats. They don’t stand up,” criticized Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez.
However, Senator Schumer insists that, while the President and Democratic leaders have indeed come to terms regarding the debt ceiling, this is by no means a ‘trade-off.’ Senator Schumer attempted to assure his party that the issue regarding DACA is still one that Democrats intend to take on for the long haul.
Regardless of the politics of it all, President Trump has displayed a consistency with being inconsistent. While Democrats have repeatedly met him and the Republican party as a whole with resistance regarding multiple policies since his inauguration, it seems the Republicans are now getting the short end of the stick as he overtly reaches to the other side of the aisle in search of any answers at all.