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Home / US / GOP in disarray, as the deadlock of the budget threatens stagnation, profound cuts and defaults

GOP in disarray, as the deadlock of the budget threatens stagnation, profound cuts and defaults




President Trump's acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney (right) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Capitol Hill. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

Senate Republicans and the Trump government seek to reach an agreement on a path to progress on critical budget and spending issues, threatening not only further government closure and profound spending cuts, but also An insolvency of the federal government that could hit the economy hard the government and raise the limit on federal borrowing this fall, but their efforts still need to produce a deal. And the uncertain path forward was highlighted in the Capitol this week, when a budget meeting between key Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), And high-level White House officials left out the Democrats, whose votes were utterly avoided must be shutdown and economic shocking exceeding the debt ceiling of the federal government.

"We are in negotiations with ourselves," said Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), Chairman of the Senate for appropriations. "The president, the government, may have some views that are sometimes a bit different from those of the senate republicans. So we try to find out if we can be together as much as possible.

The dysfunction of the GOP – paired with a new House Democratic majority with its own priorities – leaves the sides much wider apart than at this time in The budget process of last year ended with a record-breaking state funding. At that time, the Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress, but the negotiations to finance Trump's immigration priorities failed.

Trump and Congress face three difficult budget problems. The congress has to be passed and Trump has to sign the finance law until October 1st to avoid a shutdown. According to the latest estimates, they have to raise the government's debt limit at around the same time. Otherwise, the government would be forced to make difficult decisions about the obligations to be paid, and investors, the markets, and an economy that is already showing signs of alarm could view this as a default.

And by the end of the year, they must also do this to agree on how to lift tight budgetary restrictions that would otherwise snap in and save $ 125 billion from domestic and military programs.

The Senate Republicans and the government have not yet agreed on how to tackle any of the issues, making it as close as possible to substantive negotiations with the Democrats. That left the Capitol in a state of suspension over what the coming months will hold.

"To be true, they seem to be waiting to tackle all the problems we knew about until the very last minute," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the impartial, nonprofit committee on a responsible federal budget. "Basically, they're doing everything wrong that they can do wrong."

The tensions between the Senate's main Republicans and the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, have been clearly felt for months, and GOP lawmakers and adjutants are partly blaming that frayed relationship for stalling. Mulvaney was a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus before joining the government, first as Budget Director of the White House before being appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, and he advocated dramatic spending cuts rejected by lawmakers from both parties.

Mulvaney was slow to address the need for a bipartisan budget deal that would increase domestic and military spending limits, even after McConnell met privately with Trump last month and received the blessing of the President to proceed with such an agreement, said a high-ranking adviser to the GOP Senate who spoke about the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.

"The problem with Mulvaney is that sometimes he forgets that he is now an employee, and he is trying to implement his own vision instead of the president's, which slows down the process," the adjutant said.

A Mulvaney spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on his relationship with Senate Republicans. One government official, however, said that Trump encouraged McConnell to do good business without offering a framework agreement for a budget agreement that would indiscriminately boost domestic spending.

What According to lawmakers and officials on both sides, this spending should continue to be a matter of dispute between the Republicans and the administration, and it is unclear when or how a solution will be reached. According to Senate government officials and GOP advisors, Mulvaney and the government are in favor of continuing existing expenditures or signing a one-year contract to conclude a two-year contract that has been agreed in the past, and which legislators in both parties now advocate.

The government has also worked to raise the debt ceiling as soon as possible, while the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Has made it clear that a vote on the debt ceiling is pending until the conclusion of a sales contract , Senate Republicans also support the inclusion of the debt ceiling in a broader spending agreement, but some complain that they still do not know exactly what the White House will do about the financial problems they are facing.

"I think that's what we want to find out," said Senator John Thune (SD), Republican No. 2 Senator. "Our members are ready to move, but they do not want to move if the whites do House does not agree with all these things. "

Senate Republicans and heads of state have publicly and privately voiced frustrations with Mulvaney in recent weeks. Shelby is particularly annoyed when discussing Mulvaney's involvement in talks on a massive disaster relief law that came into force earlier this month after weeks of bargaining. Once, Shelby was asked if Mulvaney was playing a "constructive role" in the talks and said Mulvaney was playing a "role."

Shelby also specifically asked Mulvaney to attend the meeting at his own meeting with Trump last month, so Mulvaney could hear how Shelby describes the dire impact if a budget deal is not reached. And after this week's meeting with Mulvaney, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and others, Shelby simply said to Mulvaney's negotiating position, "He was there."

The frustration with Mulvaney is non-partisan. Speaking at a press conference last week, Pelosi said she was skeptical of dealmaking "when Mick Mulvaney took the lead," referring to his role in provoking a government deadlock in the 2013 House of Representatives. "Mick Mulvaney was one of the leaders at the stalemate government when he was here and voted to keep it shut," Pelosi said.

The internal confusion of the GOP has repeatedly provoked criticism from Democrats calling on the Republicans for failure Blaming a trial on high-level bipartisan talks last month, Republicans say The Democrats were to blame for their refusal to cut spending

"Let's hope the Republicans can bring their cause together," he said The chairman of the Senate Minority, Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.), in a brief interview on Capitol Hill in the past week.

Pointing has the most basic mandate of Congress to fund the government in A high-stakes blame game with possibly devastating consequences, if no new donation laws are in place before October 1st The government will be closed for the record 35-day period, just as it was last winter, when the Democrats denied Trump's request to pay for his wall on the US-Mexico border. To the extent that many contentious issues are still open, funding for the Wall, which is sure to be a hot topic again, has barely been negotiated between the parties.

At the same time, if a deal is not reached, to override automatic spending caps known as "sequesters". The resulting automatic cuts would indiscriminately restrict key domestic programs and jeopardize military readiness, warn members of both parties. And the finance department is already using monetary austerity measures called "extraordinary measures" because Congress has not acted to raise the nation's credit limit, which is often called the debt ceiling.

When Congress fails to act and the finance department is insufficient The Treasury is unlikely to be able to pay its bills punctually sometime late in the fall, leading to late payments by the government, higher interest rates, higher unemployment and rising unemployment Stock markets could lead to crash. Fitch Ratings warned earlier this year that a cutoff in connection with a debt limit battle could damage the country's Triple A rating.

Legislators and administrators are aware of the urgency to act. However, the recent interactions between Congress and the White House did not build confidence. The $ 19 billion comprehensive disaster relief law, which recently came into force, was only passed after months of partisan strife, and a request for emergency aid for the migration crisis at the southern border, despite urgent warnings from the government, that the agencies to do, also stopped at the end of this month, the money is missing to cope with the influx.

The House Democrats have gone their separate way to spend bills without a republican buy-in, and provided a massive $ 983 billion in funding to the Health and Welfare Office. The Pentagon and other agencies on the floor that spend Senate Republicans and the White House would never agree. A bipartisan Senate agreement that helped Congress make unusual progress in finalizing spending bills last year – right up to the Wall War – has not been revived this year, and the Senate Committee has not yet adopted a single spending bill.

And all this in the context of a fierce party debate over impeachment and an upcoming presidential campaign, which Shelby called "collateral problems" that only worsened the difficulty of reaching an agreement. The result is a chaotic stew of issues where long-time lawmakers question whether Trump's Congress and White House are up to the task of keeping the nation away from fiscal disasters.

"This is one of the most basic requirements of governance." Senator John Cornyn (R-Tex.) Said, "[to] is to figure out what the government will spend."


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