This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 1, 2017:
After debating hundreds of items in the stop-gap government spending bill to fund the government through September, congressional leaders birthed a beast that rejected nearly all of President Donald Trump’s campaign promises.
On Sunday night Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer gushed: “This is a good agreement for the American people, and takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table.” He made sure that everyone took note that most of Trump’s priorities were rejected: “The bill ensures taxpayer dollars aren’t used to fund an ineffective wall, excludes  poison pill riders [offered by Republicans], and increases investments in programs that [Republicans resisted but] that the middle-class relies on, like medical research, education and infrastructure.”
California Democrat Representative Nancy Pelosi was delighted to see a provision included that would require the U.S. taxpayer to bail out Puerto Rico to the tune of $295 million, calling it Medicare relief rather than a bailout:
From the beginning, Democrats have sought to avert another destructive Republican government shutdown, and we have made significant progress improving [this] omnibus bill.
Bloomberg, in its reporting, couldn’t restrain itself: “GOP leaders … bowed to Democratic demands to eliminate hundreds of policy restrictions aimed at curbing regulations, leaving the Trump administration with few victories.”
The White House sought $30 billion for the Pentagon. It got just $15 billion, with $2.5 billion of it on a conditional basis. The White House wanted funding for the wall. It got $1.5 billion for “border security” but with the proviso that none of it be spent on the wall.
The White House has promised to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood got an increase. The White House wanted to cut funding to sanctuary cities. That was rejected. Those cities will get their federal funds. It wanted to cut funding for the National Institutes of Health. The NIH got a $2 billion boost. The White House has promised to cut the EPA’s budget. It got millions more in funding, along with a promise that there would be no staff cuts.
The White House has stated it wanted cuts to the Energy Department. Instead, the department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency — which funds experimental energy research and has been targeted for elimination by the White House — got millions more to spend instead.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities? They got increases.
In addition, more than 70 items that Bloomberg called “anti-environment policy riders” were scrapped.
Most annoying to those thinking that the new president would actually be keeping his promises was his statement that he would sign the bill if it arrives at his desk “as we discussed.” That could happen as early as Wednesday.
Perhaps the president is making a deal? Give up a little now in order to press for more later? After all, the bill, once signed, would only fund the government through September. The 2018 budget is still a work in progress.
Or is he going along to get along, not wanting to have the Democrats hang the “shutdown the government again” albatross around the Republican Party neck?
Or is he betraying his promises to his constituents in order to get “something, anything” about which he can claim victory during the early days of his administration.
He is the president, after all, and still has plenty of political capital that he could invest in keeping his promises. Why wouldn’t he consider vetoing the bill rather than folding, especially when it contains odious pro-death funding for Planned Parenthood? Wouldn’t this be a good time for him to stand tall and reject the bill, unless and until it reflects his promises and policies? Wouldn’t this be the time, as Ron Paul just said, “to shut down most of the federal government, starting with bringing the troops home and drastically cutting the military-industrial complex’s budget?”
Or has the president been assimilated by The Borg — the powers-that-be in Washington — and just decided that “resistance is futile” and that he’ll be happy that the cuts to his projects and priorities weren’t even worse?