(CNSNews.com) - In two tweets on Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump defended the omnibus spending bill that has pleased Democrats but angered many Republican voters.
The president also said a government shutdown might not be a bad thing:
“The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We....either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!”
But at a news conference on Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) defended several “important things” in the bill that will fund government operations through September:
“First, this puts more boots on the ground to bolster our border security. In fact, this is the biggest increase in border security funding in a decade.”
Ryan said the bill also provides more resources to combat the opioid epidemic and it expands the D.C. school choice program.
“It maintains our pro-life protections,” Ryan said -- a reference to longstanding Hyde Amendment restrictions on abortion funding.
He also noted that the spending bill contains no new money for Obamacare and no insurance company bailouts.
But Ryan was most happy about the end of “forced parity” in defense and non-defense spending:
For eight years under the Obama administration, he noted, “Democrats insisted that an increase in defense spending be tied to an equal increase in non-defense spending.”
But that eroded military readiness: “This forced parity that we lived under, under the Obama years really constrained our ability to rebuild our military for this century. This appropriations bill changes all of that. No longer are the needs of our military going to be held hostage for increases in domestic spending. This means that we can finally make real important strides to increase and improve our readiness.”
Asked to respond to Trump’s tweet about a government shutdown, Ryan said he shares Trump’s frustration that appropriations bills take 60 votes to pass:
“They can be filibustered,” he said. “And so all appropriations bills therefore have to be bipartisan, because Democrats an always filibuster an appropriations bill. Having said all of that, I feel very good about the wins that we got with the administration in this bill.”
Speaking at the same Republican news conference, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) called the omnibus spending bill "a good step to start the next budget process to where we can actually shift our priorities into the things that we want..."