President Donald Trump should “challenge the GOP leadership” in Congress to rethink its $1.3 trillion “business-as-usual spend-o-rama” omnibus spending bill, Fox News host Laura Ingraham said on “The Ingraham Angle” Wednesday night.
“It’s a business-as-usual spend-o-rama at a time when voters expected just the opposite from a president who campaigned against the corruptocrats in D.C.,” Ingraham said. “Now, if I were advising the president, I would tell him, ‘Take this as an opportunity tonight to challenge the GOP leadership.'”
Referring to the 2016 elections, Ingraham added that “the American people did not elect Trump or the GOP Congress to fill the swamp. We elected them to drain it.”
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), both shown above, joined Ingraham to discuss the massive 2,232-page measure that GOP leaders dumped on them 52 hours ahead of a looming government shutdown deadline.
Ingraham pointed to a tall stack of paper, saying that “no one’s reading the bill.” Neither Meadows nor Krishnamoorthi had time to read the massive bill in its entirety prior to the interview.
Trump reportedly wavered late Wednesday in his support for the bill, calling Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to the White House for a meeting Wednesday. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later released a statement explaining Trump’s reservations had been satisfied.
“They make you agree to blow your promises and your principles by putting a gun to your head,” Ingraham said of the GOP leadership. “But the president is buying a pig in a poke here. He won on calling out the Establishment on naming names — yes, even when it made things uncomfortable.”
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“So I have a question: Where did that Donald Trump go? And where does all our money go in this bill that’s too big for us to even show on camera regularly?” Ingraham added.
Krishnamoorthi argued that Trump is “supportive on a lot of shared priorities” in the bill. “It fully funds military and domestic programs, additional funding for the opioid crisis, which is just ravaging our district. And then it helps increase funding for [National Institutes of Health], as well as making sure our veterans are taken care of.”
The Illinois Democrat added he is “optimistic and I’m hopeful that we can come to a compromise by tomorrow.”
But Meadows agreed with Ingraham, saying the bill “is not about draining the swamp. And when you look at this particular bill, were you too harsh? The answer is no. You could have been a lot harsher.” He pointed to how the bill funds sanctuary cities and Planned Parenthood without allotting enough money to fund Trump’s border wall, one of his signature campaign promises.
“There is a lot to be disappointed” in, Meadows said. “We’re still going through this, but I’m not very optimistic that there will be conservative wins in this.”
Although Krishnamoorthi was more optimistic about the bill than Meadows and Ingraham, he said he wished Congress would restore “regular order around here” and put forward smaller and simpler bills for consideration instead of lumping everything together in one gargantuan bill.
“I’m really disappointed that Speaker Ryan didn’t present us with this particular bill sooner than tonight,” Krishnamoorthi said. “I’m rank-and-file. I’m not leadership. I don’t run the trains around here. All I can say is I need more time to read through this thing. I’d like to work with people like Congressman Meadows and make it a better bill.”
“But if the choice is not funding the troops, not taking care of the veterans, not taking on the opium crisis and a shutdown, I can’t do that. I just can’t do that,” he continued.
Ingraham replied, “But Congressman, they’re putting you in that position. And it’s the way Washington works.”
Krishnamoorthi agreed that “it’s unfortunate.”
Ingraham challenged Congress to live up to its “moral obligation to be honest with the American public about where we’re getting the money to fund all these important priorities.” Meadows warned that the nation will “end up with a trillion-dollar deficit” if this bill passes.
“You don’t have to read the fine print to understand that we’re going to grow the size of government by 12 to 13 percent,” Meadows said. “So when you’re looking at that kind of growth, I don’t know that [Krishnamoorthi’s] district or my district — anybody back home — saw a 13 percent increase in their wages. And yet we’re somehow going to give government a raise like that?”
Trump defended his decision to back the omnibus spending bill in a tweet, writing, “Got $1.6 Billion to start Wall on Southern Border, rest will be forthcoming. Most importantly, got $700 Billion to rebuild our Military, $716 Billion next year … most ever. Had to waste money on Dem giveaways in order to take care of military pay increase and new equipment.”
Got $1.6 Billion to start Wall on Southern Border, rest will be forthcoming. Most importantly, got $700 Billion to rebuild our Military, $716 Billion next year…most ever. Had to waste money on Dem giveaways in order to take care of military pay increase and new equipment.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2018