March 21 2018

'Consumed' with Russian Federation scandal, Trump keeps clashing with Republicans

March 21 2018, 10:07 | Van Peters

Conservatives in the Republican Study Committee and House Freedom Caucus are pushing for deep cuts to entitlement tied to the debt ceiling that moderates in the party are not prepared to vote in favor of.

US President Donald Trump turned up the heat Thursday on Republican leaders in Congress accusing them of foot-dragging on his key priorities, in an intensifying feud that puts his policy agenda in jeopardy.

But as the critical showdown looms in Washington, Trump has clashed with and antagonized members of his own party, while threatening a shutdown of the federal government unless he gets funding for his promised US-Mexico border wall.

Lee, who didn't vote for Trump, also sharply criticized the president's reaction to Charlottesville, saying that "carrying a Nazi flag or any other symbol of white supremacy is a hateful act that can not be morally defended, least of all by the leader of a diverse nation". Earlier this month, Paul Ryan produced a techno-soundtracked web video (hell yeah) about how "it's time" to build the wall, and the House passed $1.6 billion in wall and other border security funding in the spending package it approved before recess.

Republican leaders in Congress have little appetite for any shutdown fight, particularly since their party has taken the blame in recent government-shutdown battles. He is the leader of the Republican Party - maybe that is why they won't speak out against him. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) on August 7, two days before a blunt call with the Senate majority leader that spilled over into a public feud. Please, please Mr. President, don't mention any names.' So I won't.

And the downside of having 10 Democratic incumbents up for reelection in states Trump carried are a bevy of potentially messy primaries for the right to face them. President, your speech was so good last night. I think the fact that the Senate couldn't pass a health care bill is the point of that and that wanting Mitch McConnell to change the rules of the Senate. In this case, I think the president failed to meet the standard that we would have expected a president to do at a time like that.

"Now the obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it, but believe me, if we have to close down the government, we're building that wall", Trump said, to a cheering crowd in Arizona, just hours after visiting a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility. John McCain, R-Ariz., for that result - McCain was one of three Republican votes against the so-called "skinny repeal". How unusual is that? I thought the Republicans were the majority, yet, many seem to have disappeared. You know, I've covered the last eight elections - never seen anything like it, can't compare it to anything. "But I'll make a prediction: I think he's going to be just fine, OK?"

But it was the president's defense of his handling of the Charlottesville violence - which included numerous rants and sharp words for the news media - that got him so animated. He has flirted with the idea of supporting someone else. You've got to go to a majority.

Senate Republicans' primary woes are back, with a Grand Canyon-sized vengeance. Lisa Murkowski - the list could fill the page. The lesson so far is, it just doesn't work. "We'll have to wait and see".

SHAPIRO:.Is pretty extraordinary for a man in the Oval Office. "Democrats will stand fast against the immoral, ineffective border wall", she said in a statement.

In this curdled atmosphere, the White House is embarking on its most challenging stretch yet on Capitol Hill. What's different this time is in the past, those shutdown threats came from Congress.

A group of House Democrats has introduced a censure resolution - or formal rebuke - of the president for his handling of Charlottesville.

SHAPIRO: NPR's Susan Davis, thanks a lot.

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