Saturday 25 November 2017

Trump launches tirade at Democrats over budget row

President Donald Trump. Photo: Getty Images
President Donald Trump. Photo: Getty Images

Ruth Sherlock, Washington

Donald Trump launched a furious attack on the Democrats in a flurry of tweets yesterday, accusing the party of trying to bring about a government "shut down" and damage America.

Infuriated by a stalemate in the Congress over whether to approve an emergency funding package to keep the lights on in government, Mr Trump launched an undiplomatic tirade. "I promise to rebuild our military and secure our border," he declared. "Democrats want to shut down the government. Politics!"

Mr Trump issued his diatribe in six tweets posted in quick succession.

Democrat politicians are threatening to oppose the short-term funding extension, if Republicans - at the behest of the White House - forge ahead with a vote to repeal the Obamacare public health provisions this week. Mr Trump is hoping to set his healthcare plans in motion in a bid to secure at least one major part of his agenda ahead of the 100-day mark of his presidency tomorrow.

In working to get Democrats to approve a new budget, Mr Trump has been forced to make concessions, including dropping his demand for money to build his border wall with Mexico. "Democrats used to support border security - now they want illegals to pour through our borders," Mr Trump wrote in his third online message.

Democrats in Congress said they may not support the emergency funding package if it does not include spending for Obamacare subsidies that lower health expenses for low-income Americans, via insurers.

"What's more important? Rebuilding our military - or bailing out insurance companies? Ask the Democrats," Mr Trump wrote.

"Democrats jeopardising the safety of our troops to bail out their donors from insurance companies. It is time to put #AmericaFirst," he added.

Mr Trump said retired coal miners, part of a constituency that he promised to support in his election campaign, would be among those who suffer if the functions of government are forced to shut down because they would not receive their pensions and health packages.

"I want to help our miners while the Democrats are blocking their healthcare," he wrote.

At a briefing last night, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, sought to justify the rant by saying that Democrats had imposed several last-minute "monkey wrenches" to stop the funding package. "They keep moving the goal posts," Mr Spicer said, adding that the White House would not allow them to "gum up" legislation that is in the "best interests of this country".

Matt House, a spokesman for Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democratcs in the Senate, said: "These shut down tweets are desperate, unhinged, and show a startling lack of awareness for where the negotiations actually are." (© Daily Telegraph London)

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