According to a report in the Washington Post, GOP leaders are at an impasse with the White House on future budget concerns as President Donald Trump’s chief of staff — which is leading to fears of another government shutdown.
The report states, “GOP leaders have spent months cajoling President Trump in favor of a bipartisan budget deal that would fund the government and raise the limit on federal borrowing this fall, but their efforts have yet to produce a deal.”
At issue is the interference of Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney who many in Congress believe has his own agenda that may not reflect what the president wants — meaning all their work could go for naught.
“We’re negotiating with ourselves right now,” explained Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby (R-AL). “The president, the administration, has some views, maybe, that are a little different sometimes than the Senate Republicans have. So we’re trying to see if we can be together as best we can.”
The Post notes that tensions have risen due to Mulvaney, “and GOP lawmakers and aides partially blame that frayed relationship for the halting pace of talks.”
“The problem with Mulvaney is sometimes he forgets he’s a staffer now, so he’s looking to execute on his own vision instead of the president’s, and that slows down the process,” explained one Senate aide.
According to the report, Senate Republicans have taken to openly sniping at Mulvaney, with Shelby asked if the chief of staff “was playing a ‘constructive role’ in the talks, to which he snapped Mulvaney was playing “a role.”
“Shelby also requested Mulvaney’s presence at his own meeting with Trump last month so that Mulvaney could hear Shelby describe the dire impacts if a budget deal is not reached. And after this week’s meeting with Mulvaney, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and others, Shelby simply said of Mulvaney’s posture in negotiations: ‘He was there’,” the Post reports.
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