Democrats claim to have laid the groundwork to block Trump’s major legislative efforts throughout his administration by garnering major concessions in the proposed spending bill that will keep the government operating through September.
Through successful leveraging of disagreements between President Trump and Republican lawmakers over spending priorities, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) secured nearly $5 billion in new domestic spending.
The Democrats’ apparent victory on the deal, which will likely be approved this week, means it will be quite challenging — if not impossible — for the Republicans to wield their power in future budget negotiations such as Trump’s 2018 budget plan.
The Republicans’ loss is attributable to their division over how much to spend on government programs. A small but vocal minority within the party refuses to support certain measures, forcing the GOP to negotiate with Democrats to avoid politically damaging government shutdowns.
Despite Trump holding the White House, the dynamic among Republicans has allowed Democrats to wrangle command.
“I think we had a strategy and it worked,” Schumer said in an interview with The Washington Post. “Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate were closer to one another than Republicans were to Donald Trump.”
The current budget deal will make it more difficult to remove the extra money for domestic programs from future budgets, and Trump’s priorities might be more challenging to include.
“We can’t pass anything without them,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a top deputy to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said recently regarding Democrats.
Many Republicans question Trump’s plans—some with open hostility—including those to construct a U.S.-Mexico border wall and to cut millions from foreign aid and the National Institutes of Health.
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