Capitol Hill Republicans brace themselves after Trump cuts deals with Dems

Schumer: Trump meeting good bipartisanship
Schumer: Trump meeting good bipartisanship

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Story highlights

  • President Donald Trump said Wednesday he backed a Democratic plan
  • The fight is over raising the debt ceiling and keeping the government open

(CNN)Capitol Hill Republicans were floored Wednesday after President Donald Trump cut a deal with Democratic leaders and agreed to a short-term debt ceiling increase many Republicans had publicly railed against just hours before.

"The Pelosi-Schumer-Trump deal is bad," Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, said in a one-sentence statement, a reference to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the two Democratic officials whose plan Trump endorsed.
Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican, tweeted: "We shouldn't raise #DebtCeiling w/o reform or cuts. That's the purpose of a debt limit. 3-mo. deal doesn't do either."
    A Republican congressman described Trump's decision to back just a three-month extension of the debt ceiling, as opposed to an 18-month extension as some GOP leaders had hoped, as "kind of comical."
    "I mean he undermined the ability to get a much better deal all around and I don't even think he realized that he did it," the GOP lawmaker told CNN. "Maybe it short-circuits what we have to do in September, but it complicates what we have to do in December."
    One GOP Senate aide told CNN that Trump's move had essentially killed any hope to advance the President's agenda by the end of the year.
    "Trump just killed tax reform," the Senate aide said.
    "Now nothing will get done between now and Dec. 15. You think people will vote for a budget now?" the aide asked, referencing the Democrats' proposed deadline for a resolution to fund the federal government.
    Trump's deal with Democrats came after a tumultuous August, when Trump attacked Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell repeatedly, and several of rank-and-file members.
    In a news conference Wednesday, McConnell acknowledged that Trump had sided with Pelosi and Schumer, but announced he would bring forward the package in the Senate in order to raise the debt ceiling and secure funding for Hurricane Harvey.
    While some Republicans suggested they had no idea about the reported three-month deal when CNN asked them about it, others were more direct.
    Asked if he was surprised that Trunp sided with Pelosi today, Rep. Mark Meadows, chair of the House Freedom Conference said "Did I see a three-month debt ceiling coming? The answer is no."
    Rep. Joe Barton, a Republican from Texas, gave Trump credit for finding a way to be bipartisan in a highly polarized Washington -- albeit with poor timing.
    "We'd been asking for bipartisanship so the President took everyone at his word so give him credit for that. He did the right thing at the wrong time," Barton said.