Hours after President Trump seemed to slam congressional Republicans’ plan to pass a short-term extension for government funding, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said he’d talked to Trump and the president “fully supports” his bill.
“I am sure where he stands. He fully supports passing this legislation. I just talked to him an hour and a half ago,” Ryan told reporters during a press conference late Thursday morning.
Ryan claimed he hadn’t seen Trump’s tweet indicating exactly the opposite, however.
Soon after Ryan’s press conference the White House issued a statement indicating the President did in fact support the House GOP plan for a short term spending bill.
Just hours earlier, Trump had strongly signaled he wasn’t happy with Republicans’ plan to include a six-year funding extension for the Children’s Health Insurance Program as part of a bill to keep the government funded for another month. That’s crucial, as CHIP funding is Republicans’ best hope to leverage some Democratic votes, which they may need to pass the bill through the House and definitely will need on the Senate side.
That dealt a blow to Ryan’s attempts to paint Democrats as obstructionists for demanding a renewal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for undocumented immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children. Trump earlier lambasted a bipartisan compromise to give those immigrants permanent legal status in exchange for some border security funding and minor changes to other immigration programs.
Ryan insisted he would have the votes to pass his plan, though that’s far from clear — and the Senate looks like an even tougher lift.
“I have confidence we’ll pass this because members will understand why on earth would we have a government shutdown, hurt the military… It’s unconscionable that Democrats would walk away from CHIP, from funding our military,” he said, later claiming the hardline House GOP members who aren’t happy with a continuing resolution and could torpedo the deal “are understanding the gravitas for the situation.”