Wednesday was the worst day of President Donald Trump’s presidency. It came during one of the best weeks of his presidency, which will fuel his argument for reelection 2020.
On Thursday, the House, with support from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was set to pass Trump’s revised version of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement – though Pelosi told fellow Democrats “we ate their lunch” after they got labor enforcement measures added.
Plus, she allowed Congress to move a defense authorization that includes giving federal workers paid family leave, a bipartisan goal that sets an important example for the private sector, and giving him the Space Force he has listed as a top defense priority.
They passed a funding bill to keep the federal government running until September 2020, although Trump will not get new money for the border wall he has long promised.
They’re close to repealing three unpopular tax measures related to the Affordable Care Act, even as Trump tries to smother the underlying law and Pelosi tries to prop it up.
Trump also got some of the money he needs to build a border wall – nearly $1.4 billion, a massive concession that will reverberate for the remainder of his presidency. He also got the ability to transfer money to finance the wall from some Pentagon accounts, although court challenges remain.
Democrats chose mollifying Trump over the concerns of progressives and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
The action came at a price for Trump, who accepted a fraction of the money he originally asked for in the negotiations that triggered last year’s historic government shutdown.
But that won’t stop him from trying to take credit for what passed at year’s end, as we learned from the stream-of-consciousness letter Trump sent ranting at Pelosi over impeachment.