White House: Trump backs House stopgap spending bill
The White House on Thursday reiterated that President Trump supports stopgap spending legislation backed by House GOP leaders, an effort to clear up confusion caused by Trump’s early morning tweet about the effort to prevent a government shutdown.
“The president supports the continuing resolution introduced in the House,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement. “Congress needs to do its job and provide full funding of our troops and military with a two year budget caps deal. However, as the deal is negotiated, the president wants to ensure our military and national security are funded. He will not let it be held hostage by Democrats.”
Trump sent lawmakers scrambling when he tweeted that the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) “should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension!”
GOP leaders have included a six-year extension of the popular program in a short-term spending bill that would keep the government open through Feb. 16.
Trump’s tweet came just hours before the House was set to vote on the government funding measure and appeared to contradict the White House’s stance, announced Wednesday, that it supports the stopgap bill.
The Office of Management and Budget said in a statement it recommends that Trump sign the bill and that the “administration supports the bill’s multiyear funding extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).”
Trump’s tweet came as GOP leaders are struggling to cobble together enough votes to pass the spending measure, which is opposed by many conservative Republicans and Democrats.
Lawmakers must pass a bill before Friday at midnight, when government funding runs out, or face a shutdown.
Trump told reporters Thursday there “could very well be” a shutdown.