Trump attacks his own party’s leaders over debt ceiling ‘mess’

Donald Trump has launched a Twitter assault on leaders of his own party in Congress over the prospect of a US government shutdown or even a catastrophic default on the country’s debts.

The President labelled Republican efforts to raise the debt ceiling “a mess” and blamed Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and House speaker Paul Ryan for failing to pass legislation.

Congress must raise the US borrowing limit by mid-October or the country could face an unprecedented default on its obligations, potentially throwing the financial system into chaos.

It also needs to pass a temporary measure to maintain funding for the government when the budget year ends on 30 September.

Earlier this week, Mr Trump complicated the issue by threatening to force a shutdown unless Congress includes funds in any legislation to pay for his border wall with Mexico.

His public criticism of the Republican congressional leadership follows a series of speeches this week in which Mr Trump has veered from the measured to the raucous.

He tweeted his response to the criticism of his varying performances, saying: “The Fake News is now complaining about my different types of back to back speeces. Well, there was Afghanistan (somber), the big Rally…

“..(enthusiastic, dynamic and fun) and the American Legion – V.A. (respectful and strong). Too bad the Dems have no one who can change tones!”

Trump team focusing on ‘shared goals’

But his tweets attacking Mr McConnell, revisiting the Republican failure to pass healthcare legislation, are the more consequential.

He wrote: “The only problem I have with Mitch McConnell is that, after hearing Repeal & Replace for 7 years, he failed! That should NEVER have happened!”

It came a day after Mr Trump and Mr McConnell promised to work together, amid reports of tension between the White House and Capitol Hill.

In a statement, Mr McConnell said: “We are committed to advancing our shared agenda together, and anyone who suggests otherwise is clearly not part of the conversation.”

President Trump is committing more troops to Afghanistan

Trump backtracks on Afghanistan troops

He later added: “There is zero chance we won’t raise the debt ceiling.”

Mr Ryan said: “I’m not worried that’s not going to get done because it’s going to get done.

“For me it’s really important the president succeeds because if he succeeds then the country succeeds.”

Mr Trump has been outspoken in his criticism of a growing number of Republican senators in recent weeks, blaming them for failing to deliver his campaign promises.

Congress will return from its summer recess with a long list of the President’s demands on the agenda, including tax reform and an infrastructure bill.

Steadying the country’s finances and reassuring the markets will come first.

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