In theory the Republicans have control of a unified government in Washington, but in reality the party is too internally divided to govern by itself, especially given tension between the radical right-wingers of the House Freedom Caucus and establishment Republicans. That’s why the Republicans haven’t been able to pass a budget on their own. A bipartisan agreement was reached on Sunday to keep the government open until September—and it’s a major victory for the Democrats.
Despite Trump’s demands, the new budget will give no money to his signature project of a wall on the Mexican border. Instead, as the New York Times reports, “The deal increases funding for the National Institutes of Health, despite the Trump administration’s request that its budget be reduced for the rest of the fiscal year. And it provides millions of dollars to reimburse costs incurred by local law enforcement agencies to protect Mr. Trump and his family—a boon to New York City, which has had the costly task of helping to protect Trump Tower.”
Lawmakers agreed to increase funding for the military and border security. But the country was spared the draconian spending cuts that many had feared from a Republican government.
After the agreement was reached last night, Republican lawmakers avoided the press. But Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer took a victory lap. Pelosi told the Times the deal was a “sharp contrast to President Trump’s dangerous plans to steal billions from lifesaving medical research.” She added that she was pleased the bill would not provide funding for the “immoral and unwise border wall or create a cruel new deportation force.” Under the circumstances, the party with no formal power in Washington did pretty well for itself.