President Donald Trump on Thursday once again attacked the legislative leaders of his own party on Twitter, this time about the debt-ceiling negotiations.
In his tweet, Trump said he asked House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to attach legislation to raise the debt ceiling to a recently passed bill overhauling the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The logic behind this would be to pressure members, especially conservative Republicans opposing any “clean” debt-ceiling hike, into voting for the limit increase.
Trump said the leaders declined.
“I requested that Mitch M & Paul R tie the Debt Ceiling legislation into the popular V.A. Bill (which just passed) for easy approval,” Trump tweeted. “They didn’t do it so now we have a big deal with Dems holding them up (as usual) on Debt Ceiling approval. Could have been so easy-now a mess!”
The idea of a raising the debt ceiling in conjunction with the VA bill was raised before the August recess, a Senate GOP aide told Business Insider. Several members hated the idea when McConnell and others mentioned it publicly, the aide said.
The House passed the bill without the debt ceiling attached before recess, so it would have been difficult for the Senate to add a debt ceiling amendment since the House would have needed to come back and vote on it again.
The debate over raising the debt ceiling will most likely roil Washington throughout September.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the US is in danger of defaulting on its debt if the debt ceiling is not raised by the end of next month. That could trigger a major crisis in the global financial system.
Despite Trump saying the process is a “mess,” Mnuchin and McConnell said at a joint event in Louisville, Kentucky, on Monday that the debt ceiling would be raised before the deadline.
“We’re going to get the debt ceiling passed,” Mnuchin said at the event. McConnell said there is “zero chance, no chance, we won’t raise the debt ceiling.”
Trump’s attacks come at a fraught period for relations between the White House and GOP leaders.
Trump has repeatedly attacked McConnell over the past few weeks, prompting a statement Wednesday from both sides reiterating their working relationship. Trump once again went after McConnell is a subsequent tweet on Thursday morning.
“The only problem I have with Mitch McConnell is that, after hearing Repeal & Replace for 7 years, he failed!” Trump tweeted. “That should NEVER have happened!”
While Ryan and Trump have not engaged in such public disagreements, Trump attacked the healthcare bill passed by House Republicans as “mean” just weeks after helping to push it through the chamber.