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Trump Strikes Budget Deals With Democrats

by AFP

Saul Loeb—AFP

Republicans reportedly livid over U.S. president’s decision

President Donald Trump shocked Republicans on Wednesday by agreeing to ease U.S. borrowing limits, forestall a government shutdown and approve hurricane relief, siding with opposition Democrats in a high-stakes Washington policy fight.

Trump hailed a “very good” deal that will see the government funded until at least Dec. 15 and ease the debt ceiling, allowing the government to borrow what it needs. The deal will also provide funding to help with the recovery from Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana.

Trump met leaders of both parties in the Oval Office on Wednesday, and was notably warm toward Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. “We essentially came to a deal, and I think the deal will be very good,” said Trump, who has based his political brand on being a consummate dealmaker.

The White House and Republican lawmakers had been pressing for a long-term extension to the so-called “debt ceiling,” but instead got three months when Trump backed Democrats’ short-term fix. Just hours before, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, had described a short-term agreement linking the issues as a “ridiculous idea.”

Behind the scenes, Republicans were livid, believing that come December, Democrats—a minority in both houses of Congress—will be able to demand a laundry list of concessions in order to keep the government open ahead of key 2018 mid-term elections. That is likely to include extending protection against deportation to around 800,000 people brought to the United States illegally as children, without providing funding for Trump’s “border wall” with Mexico.

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