Just hours before Congress is set to vote on a stop-gap temporary spending bill to avert a government shutdown Friday night, President Trump appeared throw a monkey wrench into the GOP strategy to push the plan through.
The president tweeted on Thursday morning about the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), but didn’t seem to be fully in lock-step with Republicans and the language included in the continuing resolution.
“CHIP should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension!” Trump tweeted.
But the Republican addition to the 30-day spending bill, called a continuing resolution, extended CHIP for six years.
Republicans had moved to attach the CHIP extension as a bargaining chip to get support from across the aisle. Democrats could feel pressured to vote for the CR based on the provision. Senior sources told Fox News that there was no way to decouple children’s health funding from the spending package.
The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request to comment as to what the president was referring to when he said CHIP should be part of a “long term” solution, not a “30 day” extension.
But White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said in a statement to Fox News that the president supports the CR.
"The President supports the continuing resolution introduced in the House. Congress needs to do its job and provide full funding of our troops and military with a two year budget caps deal," Shah said. "However, as the deal is negotiated, the President wants to ensure our military and national security are funded. He will not let it be held hostage by Democrats."
The tweet was somewhat of a déjà vu moment, reminiscent of Trump’s tweet last week, the morning of the House vote to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which lets agencies collect information on foreign targets abroad.
The president created some confusion, taking aim at the program, despite his administration’s official support for renewing it, suggesting 702 was used to “badly surveil and abuse” his campaign based on the “phony” Trump dossier.
“House votes on controversial FISA ACT today. This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?” Trump tweeted.
His opposition did not last long, following up with a tweet clarifying that he has sought changes to the law and voiced support for the program in general.
“With that being said, I have personally directed the fix to the unmasking process since taking office and today’s vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. We need it! Get smart!” he tweeted.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Jason Donner contributed to this report.