Could Trump's Budget Priorities Threaten Existing Contracts?

Could Trump's Budget Priorities Threaten Existing Contracts?

The upcoming decision could be a victory for the nationalist wing of Trump’s White House.
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December 18, 2017

Claude M. Millman, a former Director of the Mayor’s Office of Contracts Services, writes that while it’s obvious that federal funding cuts could affect the availability of future state and city contracts.

The day after Republican Karen Handel won the heated Georgia 6th Congressional District special election, President Donald Trump offered some advice to Democrats, recommending that they work to cut deals with Republicans on some of his top policy goals and suggesting that such a maneuver would ultimately be to their benefit.

“Democrats would do much better as a party if they got together with Republicans on healthcare, tax cuts, security. Obstruction doesn't work!” the president tweeted Wednesday morning.

While Democrats have expressed some interest in working with the president on a package of infrastructure legislation, one of his campaign promises, they have been unwilling thus far to join Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, Trump’s top policy priority. The president seems similarly unlikely to receive Democratic help in passing a tax reform package, another top goal for Trump.

But while the president could certainly benefit from Democratic votes to pass some of his preferred legislation, he does not need them. Republicans are the majority party in both houses of Congress and can pass some legislation, including a repeal-and-replace bill expected to be unveiled Thursday, through the Senate with a simple majority that will not require a single Democratic vote.

Even with their majorities in the House and Senate, Republicans have struggled at times to find consensus even within their own caucus. The House version of legislation to undo Obamacare, the highest-profile piece of legislation to date of Trump’s presidency, failed on its first attempt to garner enough GOP support to pass, unable to strike a balance between the archconservative and moderate wings of the party.

A later version of the bill did manage to strike that compromise, but only barely, clearing the House by just two votes.

Handel bested Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff Tuesday night to win Georgia's special election.

But while the president could certainly benefit from Democratic votes to pass some of his preferred legislation, he does not need them. Republicans are the majority party in both houses of Congress and can pass some legislation, including a repeal-and-replace bill expected to be unveiled Thursday, through the Senate with a simple majority that will not require a single Democratic vote.

Even with their majorities in the House and Senate, Republicans have struggled at times to find consensus even within their own caucus. The House version of legislation to undo Obamacare, the highest-profile piece of legislation to date of Trump’s presidency, failed on its first attempt to garner enough GOP support to pass, unable to strike a balance between the archconservative and moderate wings of the party.

A later version of the bill did manage to strike that compromise, but only barely, clearing the House by just two votes.

Handel bested Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff Tuesday night to win Georgia's special election.

The day after Republican Karen Handel won the heated Georgia 6th Congressional District special election, President Donald Trump offered some advice to Democrats, recommending that they work to cut deals with Republicans on some of his top policy goals and suggesting that such a maneuver would ultimately be to their benefit.

“Democrats would do much better as a party if they got together with Republicans on healthcare, tax cuts, security. Obstruction doesn't work!” the president tweeted Wednesday morning.

Republican Karen Handel has won Georgia’s special election, holding off the most well-funded House candidate in history and deflating Democrats who yearned for a special election rebuke to President Donald Trump.

Handel, who previously served as Georgia’s secretary of state, had 52 percent of the vote to Democrat Jon Ossoff’s 48 percent when the Associated Press called the race late Tuesday night after a six-month campaign in which Republicans hammered Ossoff as an ill fit for a traditionally conservative district.

With her win, Handel protected Republicans’ 24-seat House majority and their hold on the 6th District in Atlanta’s northern suburbs holding off the most well-funded House candidate in history and deflating Democrats who yearned for a special election rebuke to President Donald Trump.

But Trump is not the only unpopular politician in the country, and Republicans once again used House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as a bogeyman in a major House race, linking Ossoff to her in TV ads, in door-to-door conversations with voters and even in the televised debates between Ossoff and Handel.

"On April 18 I said this was going to be a very very tight race, it was going to be contentious, it was going to require all hands on deck, and that's exactly what we had," Handel told cheering supporters after her win.

While Handel’s victory only brings the Republican House majority back to its baseline level after the 2016 election, it denied Democrats a momentum boost toward the 2018 midterms and a victory that party activists dearly seek after five months of GOP control in Washington. The GOP has now won each House special election of 2017, after Trump selected a handful of congressmen from conservative seats for his Cabinet — though Republicans had a close call in South Carolina Tuesday night, where Republican Ralph Norman won the state’s 5th District by a surprisingly close 3-point margin.

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