21:48 GMT +326 April 2018
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    U.S. President Donald Trump stands in the Oval Office following an interview with Reuters at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 27, 2017

    Time for Compromise? Democrats Maintain Power Over Trump

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    Democrats have expressed confidence that they can block Trump’s legislative priorities, as US congressional negotiators agreed on a budget for the current fiscal year. This comes as the Democratic Party managed to secure around $5 billion in new domestic spending.

    This accounts for the fact that Republican lawmakers are divided over the spending priorities, which has forced them to work with Democrats to avoid government shutdowns.

    Earlier, US congressional negotiators agreed on a budget of at least $1 trillion for the current fiscal year, which ends on September 30.

    Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Mr. Marty Linsky, an expert on US politics and a faculty member at the Harvard Kennedy School.

    “For the president to accomplish his priorities he is going to have to work with the democrats and that means lots of negotiation and lots of compromise and that is a good thing independent of particular issues; the fact that the governing coalition on the hill is going to be a bipartisan coalition is probably a good thing,” Linsky said.

    He further said that in order for any legislation to pass, it’s going to have some bipartisan support. It was even seen in the approval of the new Supreme Court justice.

    “It’s going to force the administration to prioritize its priorities  because they are not going to be able to get everything they want. They will have to concentrate on the things that they want the most,” the expert said.

    The expert further said that it seems like Donald Trump will have to work together with Democrats in the months to come.

    “There has been a lot of legislation around but what is different now is that the Republicans control both the House and the Senate and the White House and that puts them in a position that is different from the Obama years,” Linsky said.

    However, the Democrats demonstrated this week that they can take advantage of the fact that the Republicans are not unified and the Republicans don’t have 60 votes in the Senate to force some changes in order to get anything done at all.

    He further spoke about the wall with Mexico and how it is more of a rhetorical commitment than a practical commitment.

    “The promises that the president made during the campaign – those are campaign promises. They are all up for grabs going forward and one of the things we have seen is that even though Trump’s administration had to compromise negotiation on a lot of its priorities, that has not had any impact on their political base; there is still tremendous support and enthusiasm for the administration among the base,” Linsky said.

    Further talking about Trump, the expert said that the current president is doing things and saying things that no one has done before. So in that way he is doing what “no other president has done before.”

    The expert further spoke about why the Republicans are so divided amongst themselves.

    “They have always been and it is easier to be divided when you are not in power. What is happening now is that the differences in perspectives, points of view, ideology are part of the Republican Party and they have always been true in the 50’s, 60’s and 80’s and 90’s it is just that we had not noticed it the way we notice it now,” Linsky said.

    So the range of views within the Republican Party has been a fact of life for very many years, the expert noted.

    Earlier, both the US House and Senate passed a short-term measure to prevent the government shutdown, giving the Congress one week to pass a funding bill. Now the budget must be approved by the House of Representatives and Senate before receiving Trump's signature by Friday.


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