According to a tweet from Sarah Ferris, of Politico this morning, a source close to the debt ceiling negotiations leaked that the “author” of Art of the Deal, Donald Trump, rolled over easily in negotiations with the Democratic congressional minority.
How it went down, per source:
-GOP pushed for 18 mo debt limit hike. Then 6 mo
-Dems dismissed 6 mo. Pitched 3 mo
-Trump then agreed to 3 mo
— Sarah Ferris (@sarahnferris) September 6, 2017
“We essentially came to a deal and I think the deal will be very good,” Trump said, after succumbing completely to Democratic demands to pass a Hurricane Harvey debt relief package with a three-month debt ceiling raise, rather than the eighteen-month extension for which congressional Republicans had originally hoped.
In other words, while still ensuring relief to Harvey victims, the Democrats completely steamrolled a president who won on his self-purported prowess as the ultimate dealmaker. He must have been quaking in his boots, thinking about how his 34% approval rating would plummet even further if he didn’t act fast.
To make matters worse, an aide with knowledge of the conversations said, “Toward the end of the meeting Ivanka Trump entered the Oval Office to ‘say hello’ and the meeting careened off topic.”
This only increases the Democrats’ leverage in upcoming negotiations during the remaining months of 2017, a period packed with tough agenda items Trump wants to pass, like tax reform, infrastructure and repealing and replacing the ACA — to say nothing of getting funding for his border wall and ending DACA.
By handing their Democratic rivals this utterly unopposed victory, Trump has undoubtedly further alienated himself from the Republicans he needs to pass his agenda and save himself from impeachment.
Lucia Brawley is a Harvard- and Yale-educated writer, producer, actor, and political organizer. She runs the progressive political Facebook group Consenting to Lead. To learn more, please go to luciabrawley.com.