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 McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' New Yorker cover titled 'The Shining' shows Graham, McConnell, Barr polishing Trump's shoes MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday shot down President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' 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.

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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 McCarthyRepublicans spend more than million at Trump properties The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi fires back in feud with Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes MORE (R-Calif.), who is running to succeed Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAmash storm hits Capitol Hill Debate with Donald Trump? Just say no Ex-Trump adviser says GOP needs a better health-care message for 2020 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.