After deal with Democrats, Donald Trump laments Republican ‘death wish’

President Donald Trump has intensified his attacks on his own party, describing the Republicans as having a “death wish” with their refusal to repeal a Senate filibuster rule, and accusing them of failing to get anything done.

Mr Trump urged his colleagues to press ahead on tax reform, and chided those within the party who were angered by his siding with the Democrats earlier this week.

“Republicans, sorry, but I’ve been hearing about Repeal & Replace for 7 years, didn’t happen!” he said, mocking their efforts to push through healthcare reform, as a means of explaining his own deal on Wednesday.

Mr Trump on Friday night signed a bill to provide $15 billion (£11.4bn) in disaster aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey and, at the same time, raise the debt ceiling – after a surprise move to side with the Democrats.

The president signed the measure “providing much needed support for storm survivors,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House spokesman. 

The House on Friday passed the bill 316-90, a day after the Senate passed it 80-17.

The bill was agreed after Mr Trump met on Wednesday with the Republican and Democrat leaders of the House and Senate, and surprised many by siding with the Democrats.

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, the Republican leaders, argued for a long-term approach to the debt ceiling, which the US was due to hit on with the new fiscal year beginning October 1.

Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, however, argued successfully that the debt ceiling should be increased for three months, until December 8.
 

Looking for a quick fix, Mr Trump agreed with them – reportedly cutting off his own treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, as he explained his arguments for a longer-term increase.

That effectively postpones until December a potentially damaging fight over fiscal matters, including whether to fund construction of Mr Trump’s border wall – something which…

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