HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks predicted Thursday the U.S. House would pass a continuing resolution to fund the government and he said President Trump’s tweets – which led to some confusion about budget negotiations – would not have an effect on the outcome.
Brooks spoke to CNN Thursday afternoon, confirming his support for a continuing resolution and predicting current “no vote” members, would come around by the time of the actual vote.
“Certainly there are different people who want different things out of this continuing resolution, and the only way to get those things is to posture yourself as a ‘no vote’ right now,” he said. “You don’t need the votes right now to pass it. What you need the votes for is when we actually have it on the House floor.
“And I believe by the time it gets to the House floor later today, there will easily be enough votes to pass a continuing resolution.” The House voted to pass the stopgap bill Thursday night, sending the bill on to the Senate.
U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, said he appreciates Congress looking to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program and provide money for rural health care, but he believes the current process is flawed.
“It is not too late for members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to find common ground and work out a deal to avoid a government shutdown," Jones said. "However, I am still very concerned that this is yet another short-term funding plan that would put Congress in the same position again next month ... People expect their government to work for them, and this is no way to run a government.”
Thursday’s budget negotiations were briefly roiled by a tweet from President Trump saying he opposed including Children’s Health Insurance Program funding, CHIP, in a short-term government bill. The measure was being used as a potential carrot to lure some Democrats – who want to see CHIP funded for five years – to support the bill.
CHIP should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2018
Later in the day, the White House seemed to reverse course and said the President did support including CHIP funding in a budget deal.
Brooks was asked by CNN host Brooke Baldwin if Trump’s tweet disrupted negotiations.
“We on Capitol Hill, we’re used to being surprised by Presidential tweets, and we give them the weight that they probably are due, and we’re going to go ahead with our business and we’re going to get this job done,” Brooks said.
Brooks said members of Congress needed to focus on their roles and that Trump’s tweets didn’t necessarily reflect actual policy. Brooks said he’s seen cases where the President’s tweets wound up being inconsistent with what ultimately happens.
“What the President tweets this morning might be different than what he tweets this afternoon,” Brooks said. “He’s got his own method for doing what he does. Perhaps he believes that enhances his bargaining position in certain negotiations.”
Brooks was asked if that inconsistency was a concern as it related to border security and federal immigration policy.
“Absolutely that is a concern, that the White House may take one position today and a different position tomorrow,” he said.
Brooks added that he hopes President Trump will soon bring forward an immigration measure that was at the center of his campaign – a border wall. He said if the bill is offered, he’d be happy to be a cosponsor.
“I’m still looking forward to the legislation that was the centerpiece of the President’s campaign, and that was to build a wall along the southern border for security reasons, and to make Mexico pay for it.”