The Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney said he thinks President Donald Trump is upset with Republican leadership for failing to pass serious legislation during the first several months of the administration.
“He’s annoyed at republican leadership, yeah, I think he probably is,” Mulvaney said during an interview on Fox Business Network.
“As a Republican, so am I. As a citizen, I am too. I was promised that they would have repealed and replaced Obamacare by now. … To the extent that the president was annoyed by that is simply reflecting many of the people of this country.”
Earlier in the interview, Mulvaney defended Trump’s decision this week to partner with Democratic congressional leaders to pass a three-month debt-ceiling suspension coupled with Hurricane Harvey relief funds, calling it the “right call,” which “allows us to focus on what’s important,” including priorities like hurricane relief and Trump’s stalled tax reform plan.
A former member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, Mulvaney said he did not understand conservatives’ outrage over the decision to suspend the debt ceiling for three months, a move that House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had previously publicly opposed.
“I’m surprised the right wing of the party has not been more receptive to this concept,” Mulvaney said. “It gives them more time to make their case. Gives them another chance to have the debate in December. All we simply did is move this out of the way for now so that we could run the government during these very critical times.”
Despite criticism from many congressional Republicans, the package to fund the government, suspend the debt ceiling, and provide Hurricane Harvey relief passed the Senate on Thursday by a vote of 80-17.
Trump suggested on Thursday that he was open to eliminating the debt ceiling altogether, an idea that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer proposed during a meeting on Wednesday.
“It could be discussed,” Trump told reporters. “There are a lot of good reasons to do that.”
But many Republican leaders have balked at the idea of permanently eliminating the debt limit, which has been used by fiscal hawks as a bargaining chip in legislative battles.
The idea drew immediate pushback from Republican leaders, who view the debt ceiling as an important tool to extract spending cuts and fight for fiscal reforms.
“There’s a legitimate rule for the power of the purse in Article 1 powers, and that’s something we defend here in Congress,” Ryan said Thursday.
Watch the clip via Fox Business Network:
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