President Donald Trump selected the pragmatist over the agitators In talks with Capitol Hill on the debt ceiling, the president has learned a lesson from his embarrassing closure of the government learned at the beginning of this year: The budget clauses in his own party, including the amtier White House chiefs Mick Mulvaney are being pushed aside and the focus is on Minimi Trump looked at Steven Mnuchin, his longtime friend, 2016 election campaigner, and now a Cabinet member who gained a new reputation as a political deal-maker in Washington this week and helped Trump postpone any risky financial crisis beyond 2020.
The Finance Minister took the lead in the five-month negotiations with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell post spending after the 2020 election. The Legislature of the House of Representatives will vote on the agreement on Thursday and is expected to endorse it, although it is widely murmured in the GOP.
"I was really impressed. It was a very challenging situation, "McConnell said in an interview. Mnuchin "spoke for the administration. And we knew that. Whatever differences they have had, they have dissolved internally. And that was also helpful because we knew who we were dealing with. "
Trump seems pleased to keep going. The President told Senate Republicans at a meeting in the White House's dining room on Tuesday that he was glad that Fox News and other conservative media, according to two participants, had kept the budget agreement largely in check. Mnuchin sat nearby as the President judged the relatively muffled, friendly fire. "He was pleased that it was no worse – this point has been raised several times," one participant said.
Mnuchin is seen more as factual rather than ideologically throughout Washington – a fact that has offended some stubborn members of the Republican Party Like Trump, he is more interested in solving a problem than in adhering to strict conservative principles.
"The President asked Mnuchin to negotiate a deal, and Mnuchin went to Pelosi and said," How much does it cost me, after the Elections to reach an increase in the debt ceiling? "Said a former senior government official sarcastically." He does not care about the cost. Wall Street is happy. The defenders are happy. That's good enough. Or, as Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Said about the agreement between Mnuchin and Pelosi: "There is not much conservative. "
"It is reported that this is the last nail in the coffin of the previous tea party movement." That's sad. But maybe it's true, "he added.
Making a deal with Trump and saving him from a crisis, Mnuchin has improved his position with both Trump and the congressional legislator – thanks to his ability to speak on behalf of the Mercurial President and the subdued opposition to the final deal , It was something that even Vice President Mike Pence could not do in December 2018 when he assured the Senate Republicans that Trump would sign an expense report just to backtrack Trump's days later and close the government.
"I do not consider this as his coming-out moment," said David Tamasi, a fundraiser for the Trump campaign in 2016 and for re-election in 2020, by Mnuchin. "He has already arrived."
Mnuchin's role in negotiations with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has put him at the center of this summer's action, even though the finance department technically only monitors the debt ceiling, a segment of the business. Next week, Mnuchin will travel to Shanghai with US sales representative Robert Lighthizer to continue trading talks with China.
His ongoing preoccupation with trade, sanctions and the budget deal makes him one of the most powerful and long-lived members of Trump's frequently changing Cabinet. He, Lighthizer and the Director of the National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, make what a Republican called a "strong economic front" in Trump's re-election.
A finance spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
High-ranking officials said that although the Conservatives did not receive the level of spending cuts they wanted, the President still had the power to transfer funds within the department to the Homeland Security and Defense Departments – key instruments with which to defend his perimeter wall can finance.
The final budget and final expenditures were set during numerous telephone calls over the weekend, according to White House officials and Democratic aides. Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke three times on Sunday, and Chuck Schumer, chairman of the senate ministry, attended the second conference.
On Sunday night, Mnuchin called on the President and other senior White House officials to brief them on the contours of the deal, which the president had broadly agreed, according to two high-ranking government officials. Kevin McCarthy, chairman of the House minority, was also in close contact with the White House.
The parties then worked out the details on Monday, with Pelosi saying much of the deal was negotiated via a aisle seat on a very delayed flight from Detroit to Washington's adjutant to Parliament Speaker. At 5 o'clock in the afternoon. On Monday, Mnuchin held a conference call with the four congressional leaders to discuss all outstanding issues. On this call Mnuchin advised the leaders that Trump would tweet in the next hour. The leaders would then follow their own statements confirming that an agreement had been reached.
Trump tweeted about the tentative agreement late in the afternoon of Monday afternoon. "I'm pleased to announce that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have signed a two-year contract Budget and Debt Limit Closed No Poison Pills … "Trump said on Twitter, following the plan Mnuchin had put in place with Congressional legislators.
Mnuchin reassured Republicans that Trump supported the deal during a weekly Senate dinner while Republicans were waiting for a clear signal. After the meeting with the Republicans of the Senate, Trump sent this recommendation on Twitter, sealing the deal for the leaders of the Congress.
Mnukhin's appearance before the Republicans on Tuesday seemed ideological in nature: The proponents of the deal considered him great. Those who did not think he did a bad job of selling a deal that made the Democrats happy. Some Republicans said Mnuchin should have taken a harder line with Pelosi and refused to negotiate spending until the debt ceiling was raised.
"He did not do anything, the payouts, billing is a joke, this is an accounting trick," said a GOP senator. "It was sad. And he is glad that the president loves him the most at the moment. At the beginning of this spring, McConnell had urged the President to reach an agreement in a one-to-one interview this spring, part of which was to win Mnuchin as head negotiator, and Mnuchin seemed to have less ideological baggage in the negotiations than his colleagues in the White House, such as Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff of the White House, who fought as house legislature and Trump's budget director and acting director of the Office of Management for hard spending cuts and budget Russ Vought, who also had a political career cutting spending
"They had the presence of Mulvaney and Vought at the table," said John Thune (RS.D.), Senate Majority Whip. "Mnuchin took the view that would lead to a conclusion, and shared that Believing that we would have to make a caps deal while some of the others at the table tried to close the issue […] Conservatives both inside and outside the White House continue to be disappointed that the deal did not go hand in hand with spending cuts, but both Mulvaney and Vought are joining in this.
Vought went to Fox News Tuesday to defend it. "I love the concern of the Conservatives, who draw attention to the problems we have with the tax responsibilities in this city. This president has proposed more spending cuts than any other president in history, "Vought said. "We are now facing a deadline for the August break, where we must extend the debt limit, and we need to build the military."
The presidential approval of the budget agreement is almost certain Even though fear among the conservatives is real,
"It's a lot of spending, that's what makes it difficult," said Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), "It's hard to swallow. I understand, nobody wants a shutdown and I do not want us to go over the fiscal cliff, but it's just a lot of money. "
Trump has told White House leaders and outside allies that he intends to cut spending in his second term if he wins the re-election, so a high-ranking administrative official – though he does not target Medicare or social security. It is a vow that will be extremely difficult to implement if Republicans do not make big profits in Congress in 2020.
But this signal might appeal to Republicans more in tune with Vought and Mulvaney.
The fact that Mnuchin towered over two true Tea Party heroes was a little shock conservative for Hard-Line. "I'm not surprised, because the Republicans in the Senate will not team up with the president if they cut spending." The Republicans are not trying to cut spending, "said former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a founding father of the Tea Party.
Republicans near the White House insisted that Trump choose Mnuchin as the negotiator because he wanted a deal, while Mulvaney might have sought deeper cuts and alienated congressional leaders. Already in December, Mulvaney called on the president to close the government to fight for more money for a border wall.
The closure lasted 35 days – which did not result in political victories for the Republicans and forced Trump to collapse under Pelosis firm grip over her caucus.
Mnuchin's leadership of the deal shows how far he has come since his arrival in Washington since Trump's political election. At the beginning of his tenure, Mnuchin had angered Republicans in the House of Representatives when he visited Capitol Hill and asked them to vote for the debt ceiling and do it for him – a move many felt was deaf and arrogant.
But Mnuchin maintained it, strengthened its relations with some of the major Senate republics during the tax reform, held a small breakfast at the Ministry of Finance for lawmakers, and felt more comfortable in its political role in the third year of the Trump presidency.
Mnuchin's only major disagreement with the president was that he supported Jay Powell as head of the Federal Reserve – a move Trump took against him when the Fed raised rates and dented markets late last year.
The two are now back in good shape, say senior officials and White House advisers as the Fed prepares to pull back and the stock market hovers at record levels.
Heather Caygle contributed to this report. .