By cutting a bipartisan spending compromise among themselves, Republicans and Democrats in Congress not only prevented the White House from delivering on President Trump’s priorities in his very first budget, they also drafted a handy blueprint for circumventing the Trump administration in the future.
It was an outcome that should worry the new president even though Mr. Trump will be spared the humiliation of a government shutdown early in his tenure if he signs the legislation.
“We were sort of a united front, Republicans and Democrats, opposed to Trump,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, in an interview.
Not exactly the words a president wants to hear in the opening months of his term — that the two usually warring parties on Capitol Hill instead joined forces to gang up on him. But that is essentially what happened.
Republicans, protective of their spending priorities, chose to cooperate with Democrats in the House and Senate to work out a five-month package they could all live with, ignoring demands from the White House for deep spending cuts in areas like environmental protection.
By insisting on proposals that both parties on Capitol Hill knew could not pass — the border wall funding in particular — the White House took itself out of the game and ceded power to Congress. Members of both parties, freed to direct money to favored initiatives, eagerly seized the opportunity and increased funding for agencies such as the National Institutes of Health rather than cutting it.
You can read the rest at the New York Times.