President Trump utilized his favorite platform – Twitter – to yet again lambast Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Here are the tweets:
About an hour later, Trump lashed out at McConnell again:
McConnell has become a political punching bag for Trump ever since McConnell criticized Trump for having "some excessive expectations" about how quickly he could get his agenda.
Trump's criticism toward Ryan and especially McConnell is absolutely warranted given that neither of them seemed particularly interested in actually repealing Obamacare and they could have easily passed a straightforward repeal bill through the reconciliations process. However, Trump can't put the blame entirely on them since he didn't apply the necessary pressure during the process and called the bill passed by the House "mean."
It’s also why Trump should have put the squeeze to McConnell and other moderate Republicans months ago, rather than sitting on the sidelines and letting Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and McConnell take the lead, then chiming in at the last moment with vague slogans about “getting it done.” Trump could have demanded a true repeal; he didn’t. He could have demanded a replacement bill that fulfilled basic free market conditions; he didn’t. Yes, McConnell has failed to motivate the Republican caucus to do its work. But Trump hasn’t been particularly helpful.
The debt ceiling issue that Trump railed about will certainly become a major issue in Washington D.C. in the coming month, as the deadline for Congress to raise the debt ceiling is September 29. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has pushed to raise the debt ceiling without any extra stipulations; on the other hand, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has advocated for raising the debt ceiling, but only if Congress also implements spending cuts.
As Shapiro mentioned with Trump on Obamacare, it is worth asking why Trump didn't apply pressure for Congress to attach the Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA) bill to a debt ceiling increase before the bill passed. Trump's criticism of McConnell and Ryan may be valid, but he's not helping his own cause.