Why Did Trump Support the Democratic Debt Ceiling Proposal?

Republican President Donald Trump has always prided himself on being a hard negotiator. Still, somehow Congressional Democrats have walked away with a win during the debt ceiling negotiations. So what happened? And why exactly are Republicans so angered by the outcome?

GOP leaders aimed to avoid a short-term debt ceiling increase, aiming to agree on at least a year in order to avoid another potential government shutdown just three months down the road. However, Democratic leaders managed to woo the president into siding with them on a temporary agreement.

“‘If passed by the Republican-led Congress, the three-month agreement would avert an unprecedented default on U.S. government debt, keep the government funded at the outset of the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 and provide aid to victims of Hurricane Harvey,” Reuters reports. “‘It was a really good moment of some bipartisanship and getting things done,’ top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said.”

With the president advocating for the Democrats’ proposal, the GOP has multiple concerns to address. The first: Is this a one-off occasion, or is the White House moving away from the Republican party?

“Trump, who fashions himself a deal maker and who often cares more about personal chemistry than political ideology, has grown increasingly frustrated with Republicans and has told advisers he believes he can work with Democrats on issues like tax reform and infrastructure,” reports Politico. ”‘The President is committed to getting things done — tax relief for middle-class America, responsible immigration reform and making sure Americans are protected,’ said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, his press secretary. ‘He wants to work with Republicans and Democrats to move this country forward.’”

Meanwhile, President Trump could also be simply stoking the flames of a GOP that he feels hasn’t been supportive enough of his presidency so far.

Some pundits have suggested that the Democratic deal has less to do with President Trump’s own desire to work with the left, and more to do with making GOP leaders like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan look bad. By undermining them, the president may be attempting to cause friction within the party itself.

And if that’s his goal, it’s already working. Buzzfeed reports:

Several conservative groups held a conference call Wednesday afternoon to express their frustration with the debt ceiling deal. They, too, trained their ire mostly on congressional leadership. We didn’t work this hard just to let Congress enact liberal policies,’ said Jenny Beth Martin, president of Tea Party Patriots, who described the deal as ‘fool’s play’ and a ‘trap’ for Republicans. Ken Cuccinelli of the Senate Conservatives Fund said the deal showed ‘why ordinary Republicans of every stripe believe Republican leadership must be replaced.’ Pointing to McConnell specifically and the perceived lack of a conservative debt ceiling option for the president, he said, ‘If that’s going to be the habit in September, it’s going to be a very ugly September.’

Meanwhile, Ryan is trying desperately to roll off any blame coming his way, arguing that GOP leadership is still as tight as can be.

“The President made it really clear, and what he was aiming for in that meeting yesterday was a bipartisan moment while the country is facing two horrible hurricanes,” Ryan said in a press conference, according to Talking Points Memo. “[...[Trump]was interested in making sure that this is a bipartisan moment while we respond to these hurricanes. And he made that clear. And I think that’s what his motivation was.”

Assuming the deal passes Congress, this is a negotiation that will happen again in just three short months — and the GOP is worried that next time it will go even worse for the party.

According to Politico:

Congress will likely have to strike a major bipartisan fiscal deal in December to raise the debt ceiling long term and keep the government open for the remainder of fiscal 2018. And Republican lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol complained Wednesday that Trump probably just undercut leadership in those future negotiations, making it even harder for them to secure legislative wins.

Could the president himself end up being the best weapon in the war against the GOP’s agenda? If so, that would be the one twist that no one ever saw coming.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie W18 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill4 months ago

This is the way government is supposed to work. Both sides are supposed to come together and work things out. The last administration had no idea, or desire, to do that. The Dems refused to listen to the Repubs at all or work with them on anything. Congress is still trying to work that way, but Trump is willing to work with both sides.

Margie FOURIE6 months ago

Thank you

Brian F
Brian F6 months ago

Eric The debt never will be paid down, and everybody knows it. Both corrupt corporate owned parties created it when the war criminal liar GW Bush cut taxes for the rich, and started the Iraq war that was based on lies, and the Democrats didn’t block it. Then Obama made Bush’s tax cuts for the rich permanent, and his failed neo liberal corporate Democratic policies of worshipping the corrupt banks, and then getting $400,000 for a speech as a reward from Wall Street, added to the debt which is now 20 trillion dollars.

Eric Lees
Eric Lees6 months ago

As Obama once said. The fact that once again they needed to raise the debt ceiling is a sign of failure of leadership.

At this point we have 2 basic choice.
A) Never pay down the debt
B) Pay down the debt

We either continue to kick the can down the road until A is the only option or we do some serious belt tightening and have real government Austerity. Both will be painful but one would most likely lead to WWIII (or IV).

Does anyone honestly see any alternatives?

Eric Lees
Eric Lees6 months ago

You know it's bad when there is bipartisan support. All a distraction. Failure to increase the debt limit is not the issue. The issue is the debt and it should be pretty alarming to everyone that once again we have maxed out our credit card and the solution is to just take out another credit card?

Can you imagine any family trying to do that?

When will the rest of the world realize that they should stop lending money to the friend with a bad gambling problem?

How much longer will we continue to kick the can down the road? Until we come to the cliff? We are living on borrowed time and money and it's just a matter of time.

Brian F
Brian F6 months ago

Like the Democrats are any more honest than the Republicans. Both Schummer and Nancy Pelosi are sellout corporate establishment crooks who have taken millions from Wall Street, and are refusing to support progressive policies that we desperately need in this country, like single payer universal healthcare, free colleges, marijuana legalization and a $15.00 an hour minimum wage. Corporations own both corrupt parties, and this probably helped to quickly get money for the flood victims in Texas, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s just business as usual in our corporate owned kleptocracy.

Janet B
Janet B6 months ago


Kathryn I
Kathryn I6 months ago

Whatever Trump should do, you can bet he won't do!!! Thank you!

One Heart inc
One Heart inc6 months ago