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Trump Feud With McConnell Escalates: "Can You Believe He Couldn't Get It Done?"

Having tired of picking on Democrats for ruining his Obamacare repeal plans, Trump is increasingly focusing on his own party in general, and Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell in particular.

One day after a "work-vacationing" Trump slammed the Senator in a Wednesday tweet, in which he said "Senator Mitch McConnell said I had "excessive expectations," but I don't think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?" Trump ramped up his criticism of McConnell on Thursday morning when in an early tweet, Trump again questioned why McConnell has not been able to pass a bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

"Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn't get it done," Trump tweeted. "Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!"

Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn't get it done. Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

Earlier this week, McConnell vented his frustrations about the president's "excessive expectations" for his agenda when the Kentucky Republican criticized Trump's "artificial deadlines" during the healthcare debate.

“Now our new president has of course not been in this line of work before. And I think had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process,” McConnell said.

Trump first pushed back against McConnell's characterizations yesterday, as noted above. He now appears to be taking the feud with both McConnell and the Senate to the next level, at precisely the wrong time: with the debt ceiling negotiation and potential government shutdown looming in under two months, Trump should be pushing for a consensus, instead he appears intent on alienating Republican allies in the Senate.

Which brings us to yesterday's prediction by Reagan-era CBO head, Rudy Penner, who in an interview with MNI warned that he expects a "very scary" fall 2017 due to fiscal issues, with market-disrupting battles ahead on both the debt ceiling and fiscal year 2018 spending. Here are the highlights again:

Penner said he believes it will be "very challenging" for Congress to pass legislation this fall to increase the statutory debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has asked Congress to lift the debt ceiling by the end of September. Penner countered that a "plausible path" for dealing with the debt ceiling is to pass legislation in September to suspend the debt ceiling until after the November 2018 mid-term elections.

 

However, such legislation, he said, may have to be negotiated by an unusual coalition assembled by House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat. Said such an agreement, Penner said, "could put Speaker Ryan's job in peril" by conservative Republicans who oppose it. He said he believes the debt ceiling is "an incredibly stupid law that makes no logical sense."

 

"It terrifies the world and frightens markets every few years--but does nothing to actually control spending or cut budget deficits," he said.

 

Penner said he sees little Republican consensus on tax reform and expects any package that emerges to include "some quite modest tax cuts" and the closure of loopholes.

 

Finally, Penner touched upon the market, and said that like virtually everyone else, he remains "totally  puzzled" by the surging stock market, arguing that markets soar even as it becomes more evident that major fiscal stimulus will not be coming out of Washington this year.

 

"The markets don't seem to have absorbed the reality of Washington yet," he said. "I have an uneasy feeling this will all end badly--that there will be a very major market correction."