McConnell quashes Trump’s plan to claw back spending deal

McConnell quashes Trump’s plan to claw back spending deal
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSunk judicial pick spills over into Supreme Court fight Hillicon Valley: Trump's Russia moves demoralize his team | Congress drops effort to block ZTE deal | Rosenstein warns of foreign influence threat | AT&T's latest 5G plans On The Money: Trump 'ready' for tariffs on all 0B in Chinese goods | Trump digs in on Fed criticism | Lawmakers drop plans to challenge Trump ZTE deal MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday shot down President TrumpDonald John TrumpWSJ: Trump ignored advice to confront Putin over indictments Trump hotel charging Sean Spicer ,000 as book party venue Bernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin MORE’s call for Congress to pass a rescissions package that would cut nondefense spending included in the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package passed in March.

Senate Republicans have expressed skepticism about Trump’s idea since he first floated it during the Easter Recess and McConnell finally killed it this week.


The GOP leader warned that passing a privileged resolution to cut domestic nondefense spending contained in the budget deal would imperil future negotiations with Democrats.

“You can’t make an agreement one month and say, 'OK, we really didn’t mean it,' " McConnell told Fox News.

He pointed out that Trump helped negotiate the $1.3 trillion spending deal and signed it into law.

“He agreed to it. He was involved in the negotiation and signed the bill,” he said, emphasizing, “We had a deal with the Democrats.”

McConnell said Trump shouldn’t have been shocked that the bipartisan package included Democratic priorities.

“He and his people were involved in the negotiation. They agreed to it,” he said.

The omnibus increased discretionary spending by nearly $300 billion over fiscal years 2018 and 2019. Most of that, $165 billion, was for defense programs.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse leaders clash over resolution backing ICE House backs resolution expressing support for ICE House GOP reverses, cancels vote on Dem bill to abolish ICE MORE (R-Calif.), who is running to succeed Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanInterior fast tracks study of drilling's Arctic impact: report Dems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia National Dems make play in Ohio special election MORE (R-Wis.) in 2019, is a leading proponent of the rescissions package and has been working closely with Trump on it.

Some Senate Republicans think McCarthy is trying to ingratiate himself with the president while a leadership promotion is on the line.

“This sounds a lot like a play by Kevin McCarthy to boost his profile with the White House,” a GOP aide told The Hill earlier this month.

McConnell seemed more open-minded about the idea earlier this month, but even then expressed doubt that it would gain much traction on Capitol Hill.

“I’m willing to discuss with the administration of the possibility of some kind of rescission package. I think it’s worth a discussion. Whether that’s achievable is another matter,” he told reporters last week.