“We are less concerned with what makes Congress happy and more concerned with what makes America better and stronger,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders beamed at today’s hurricane-centric press briefing. That was in answer to a question about Republican backlash over President Donald Trump having struck a Democratic Debt Deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, to the chagrin of Trump’s party leaders.
Earlier Friday, Congress approved the deal to raise the debt ceiling and channel funding to Hurricane Harvey recovery. The $15.25B federal aid bill puts off a government shutdown until December. It passed in the House, 316-90 – all 90 nay votes were cast by GOP thumbs.
“The president is focused on doing what’s best for the American people,” Sanders told reporters in the briefing room, explaining that’s what got Trump elected by voters who “wanted somebody to be a leader, step up and take action.”
“That’s exactly what the president did,” she said.
Trump is interested in working with whichever politicians are “interested in moving the ball forward to help the American people,” Sanders said, adding, “I think the biggest message is he’s a lot less focused on what makes Congress happy” and more on “what makes American better and stronger.”
Trump reportedly was euphoric over the positive press he got about brokering the Dem debt deal. Asked if this was a one-off or a glimpse into how Trump will work with Congress going forward, Sanders said Trump is “committed to moving legislation through; he wants Congress to act and is happy to have Democrats be part of that.”
POTUST will “continue to work with anyone willing to sit down at the table,” she smiled.
President Trump’s Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert, who spoke first at the presser, said Trump was expected to sign the Hurricane Harvey recovery deal today.
Bossert warned Floridians to take evacuation warnings very seriously noting Hurricane Irma already has resulted in loss of life. He urged people in the affected areas to stop watching cable news tracks of the storm “and start thinking about getting themselves” to secure places.
He also seemed to chide TV news operations for neglecting to cover the impact of Irma on the US Virgin Islands and St. Martin, where he said U.S. operations will begin evacuating people.
Locals “need to think about their own personal accountability,” he said, advising the “Oxygen Mask Theory” espoused by airlines to “take care of yourself first, so you can take care of others and, if you can, take care of strangers and others in need.”
The government at some point will not be able to get to people along the storm’s path, leaving them on their own for an estimated 72 hours, when they will be without water and power.