Vice President Mike Pence is defending the short-term budget deal Republicans negotiated with Democrats as “a clear win for the American people.”
Pence was a guest on radio host Rush Limbaugh’s show Tuesday, where he emphasized the bill’s major strength is an increase in national defense spending. The vice president said:
I mean, in a very real sense this was a game-changer because we’re just back to putting the safety, security, and the national defense of the American people first, and I think it sends, having just traveled around the Asian-Pacific representing the president over the last couple of weeks, I think this sends a decisive message to the world that under President Trump’s leadership we’re gonna make the strongest military in history even stronger.
Limbaugh, however, pressed Pence on how much the Democrats actually were forced to give up in the deal:
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?
If you complain about 60 votes today, why not go budget reconciliation for 51 votes and smoke ’em?
Pence insisted, however, that a $21 billion increase in defense spending for a short-term bill is significant. He said:
This is a short term bill that finishes out this year, but I think it demonstrates that in President Trump’s leadership, the American people once again have a president who can bring together both parties, who can move the ball forward on the priorities of the American people, and when the next budget comes around next fall you’ll see even more of President Trump’s leadership and priorities reflected.
“Mr. Vice President, we’ve been told this for 15 years, we’ll get ’em next time, after every continuing resolution,” Limbaugh continued.
“No, we got ’em this time,” Pence replied.
The vice president also said Republicans should look at Trump’s efforts to meet his pro-life promises within his first 100 days.
“You know, the president recently signed a bill into law that ends the Obama-era regulation that blocks states from banning Planned Parenthood funding,” he explained. “Now states can ban Planned Parenthood funding like we tried to do in the state of Indiana.”
Pence continued that the healthcare bill GOP leaders are hoping to pass will once again contain a provision to defund Planned Parenthood at the federal level.
“And of course the health care bill that we hope comes up soon actually defunds Planned Parenthood altogether, while we repeal and replace Obamacare,” he said.
“Planned Parenthood is in the repeal of Obamacare, the new health care — what’s the status?” asked Limbaugh. “What is this, if it passes, what are we gonna get?”
Well, what you’re gonna get is the beginning of the end of Obamacare and the beginning of a better health care system for the American people. What this bill does is, first and foremost, it repeals the taxes and penalties that are at the core of Obamacare. We expand health savings accounts, which you’ve been a champion of for decades, giving people more choices in consumer directed care. And then we block grant or provide great new flexibility in Medicaid back to the states.
“And the combination of all of this, I truly do believe, is the beginning of the end of Obamacare,” the vice president said.