- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Radio host Rush Limbaugh received a call from Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday, and he wasn’t shy about voicing his displeasure over the 2017 budget deal.

“The Rush Limbaugh Show” rarely has guests, but a $1.2 trillion federal spending deal made between Republicans and Democrats to avoid a government shutdown prompted an interview with Mr. Pence.

The theme of the exchange boiled down to one question: “If this is what happens, Mr. Vice President, why vote Republican?”

“What is the point of voting Republican if the Democrats are gonna continue to win practically 95 percent of their objectives, such as in this last budget deal?” the conservative host asked.

“Look, you’ve had Washington, D.C., that has been, you know, paralyzed by gridlock and partisan infighting for many years, and in this new president you have someone who was able to bring people together and make a $21 billion increase in defense spending at a time of great challenge for America’s interests around the world,” Mr. Pence replied.

That answer did not satisfy Mr. Limbaugh.

“If I’m the Democrats, $21 billion, 15 billion for defense that was not originally authorized, that’s a small price to pay for continuing to fund refugee resettlement, continuing to fund Planned Parenthood, continuing to fund sanctuary cities, continuing to fund the EPA, and not build the wall. The Democrats clearly think this is a big win, and they’re confident they can block Trump’s agenda after this spending bill for the rest of Trump’s term. There isn’t anything of the president’s agenda in this budget, and people are beginning to ask, when’s that gonna happen? If you’re gonna shut it down in September, why not now?”

The vice president countered by saying “the number one priority” of the Trump administration is to rebuild the military.

“I gotta tell you, to get Democrats in Washington, D.C., to agree to a $21 billion increase in a short-term budget bill — and, you know, the president’s calling for the largest increase in military spending since the Reagan administration in the upcoming budget, I think is no small — it’s no small accomplishment,” Mr. Pence said.

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told reporters Monday that Mr. Trump will sign the 2017 budget bill when he receives it from Congress on Thursday or Friday.

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