Republicans in Washington are fuming over President Trump’s agreement with Democrats on a three-month deal to extend the debt ceiling, fund the government and ensure disaster relief money for Hurricane Harvey, and many have publicly questioned the thinking behind the deal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “doubts the president has a strategy,” Axios reported Thursday.
McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have all said that the president wanted to ensure emergency funding for hurricane victims would be available, and the Trump administration has also said that the deal would help clear the path for tax reform this year — a contention that, well, seems questionable.
But in an interview with Maria Bartiromo on the Fox Business network, Mnuchin offered one more reason Trump may have opted for a short-term agreement. The Treasury secretary said that a one-year deal was discussed for both the debt ceiling and government spending, but the president didn’t want a so-called continuing resolution that would have only funded the government at current levels for another year. Trump didn’t want to wait to get additional funding for the military.
“The president’s priority is to refund the military and get additional funding,” Mnuchin said, "and he didn’t want to give that up."