- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 2, 2017

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan delivered a fierce defense of Republicans’ spending bill Tuesday, saying that it marks a major increase in defense spending, calling it “a game-changer,” and saying that outweighs the other fights the GOP retreated on.

Mr. Ryan, a former budget committee chairman, said the GOP could claim victory by increasing the Pentagon’s money without also having a dollar-for-dollar spike in education, health and other basic government spending.

He said that’s a major break from the Obama years, when Democrats insisted that every defense increase be matched with domestic increases.

“No longer are the needs of our military going to be held hostage to domestic spending,” Mr. Ryan said. “We broke this parity and we think it’s a really important step in the right direction.”

President Trump tweeted Tuesday that perhaps a future government shutdown would be good for the country.

Mr. Trump tweeted, “The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We…” he continued, “either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good “shutdown” in September to fix mess!”

The president was reacting to the less-than-enthusiastic reaction from Republicans over the $1 trillion spending bill, which does not strip funding for Planned Parenthood and sanctuary cities, and does boost spending for a number of Democrats’ own domestic priorities, including college aid for poor students and medical research at the National Institutes of Health.

The bill also preserves the budget at the Environmental Protection Agency. It does, however, include increased funding for immigration enforcement.

Democrats emerged from the talks to say they couldn’t think of a major single area where they lost in the negotiations — and said Mr. Trump was reckless with his call for a shutdown showdown.

“This deal is exactly how Washington should work when it is bipartisan,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat. “Both parties negotiated and came to agreement.”

He said Mr. Trump’s call for a shutdown was “destructive.”

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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