Political Turmoil Escalates as Trump Blames McConnell and Ryan for Debt Ceiling Mess

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Bipartisan political bickering in Washington is to be expected, but the war of words and political discord between President Trump and his party is escalating at an unprecedented speed. In a series of tweets Thursday morning, President Trump blamed Republican leaders for legislative fights on the debt ceiling and the potential shutdown of the federal government.

The main target of Trump’s barb-wired tweets are House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In a pair of early morning tweets, Trump attacked Ryan and McConnell for not tying an increase in the debt limit to a recent Veterans Affairs (VA) bill that overwhelmingly passed Congress.

Despite the jocular posturing, it is unlikely that Trump’s proposal would have succeeded on Capitol Hill. What Trump has succeeded at doing, though, is ensuring his feud with top Republicans and the Republican-controlled Congress will escalate even further. Lose lips sink ships, and a war of words simply means a government shutdown is more likely than ever.

In the past, Republicans and Democrats have been at loggerheads over how to raise the debt ceiling and have been motivated by the threat of default. While this is still true, it’s Republican infighting that could lead to a government shutdown.

Attaching a popular Veterans Affairs reform bill to the must-pass legislation would simply have not worked. If anything, it would have delayed the passage of the VA bill and nothing more.

This isn’t the first time Trump has tried to marry two disparate ideas to a proposed bill. On Tuesday night, at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Trump threatened to shut down the government if his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border isn’t funded by Congress.

To a baying crowd, Trump said, “If we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall. The American people voted for immigration control. We’re going to get that wall.”

In the meantime, the Trump administration has warned that Congress must raise the debt ceiling before the end of September to avoid a financial crisis. Americans won’t have to wait long to see how it turns out. The debt ceiling crisis could be pushed to the precipice in September because the debt standoff coincides with the deadline to pass a new government spending bill. The U.S. governments fiscal year begins on October 1, 2017.

Sources:

Twitter post,” Donald J. Trump Twitter account, August 24, 2017, 9:19 a.m.

Twitter post,” Twitter.com, August 24, 2017, 9:25 a.m.

ABC News. “President Donald Trump holds campaign rally in Phoenix.” Filmed August 22, 2017. YouTube video, 1:25:39. Posted August 22, 2017.

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