By Jordan Fabian
May 02, 2017
President Trump on Tuesday trumpeted the bipartisan spending deal as a “clear win,” just hours after venting his frustration with the agreement.
“After years of partisan bickering and gridlock, this bill is a clear win for the American people,’ he said during a ceremony honoring the Air Force Academy football team.
Turning to the team members, who were standing behind him in the Rose Garden, Trump said, ““This is what winning looks like, something that you folks really know a lot about.”
The mixed messages from the White House come just before Congress is set to vote on a $1 trillion spending package to keep the government open for the next five months.
Trump earlier Tuesday said in a string of tweets that the country “needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September” to fix a mess in the Senate.”
The tweets displayed Trump’s annoyance at Senate Democrats who successfully blocked some of Trump’s top priorities, including money for his proposed wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, from being included in the measure.
The legislation also does not strip funding for Planned Parenthood or so-called sanctuary cities that do not cooperate with federal authorities on immigration enforcement, both top GOP demands.
Trump was reportedly frustrated with media coverage calling the deal a win for Democrats.
In his speech Tuesday, Trump rattled off GOP victories on increased military spending without accompanying domestic spending hikes, health benefits for retired coal miners and $1.5 billion in border security money, which he called a “down payment” for the wall.
“And we didn’t do any touting like the Democrats did, by the way,” Trump said.
Democrats pointed out that the border money would update existing infrastructure but would not pay for Trump’s wall.
“To be clear, there is NO funding in this bill for ANY kind of down payment on construction of a new border wall,” Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyTrump: Spending bill a ‘clear win’ McConnell touts ‘conservative wins’ in funding deal Congress increases NIH funding after Trump calls for cuts MORE (D-Vt.) tweeted.
Trump’s speech came roughly an hour after White House budget director Mick Mulvaney took a victory lap on the spending agreement.
“They wanted a shutdown,” Mulvaney said of Democrats. “They wanted to try and make this president look like they could not govern. They wanted to make this president look like he did not know what he was doing. And he beat them on that at the very, very highest level.”
But he also said that Trump’s earlier call for a government shutdown was justified.
“I think the president’s tweet was that we might need a shutdown at some point to drive home that this place — that Washington needs to be fixed,” Mulvaney said. “I think that’s a defensible position, one we’ll deal with in September.”
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