Rush Limbaugh grills Mike Pence over budget deal: 'What is the point of voting Republican?'

In a Tuesday interview with Vice President Mike Pence, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh criticized the $1 trillion bipartisan budget deal reached by Congress on Sunday, asking Pence, "what is the point of voting Republican if the Democrats are gonna continue to win practically 95% of their objectives?"

Limbaugh joined a chorus of prominent conservative media personalities in attacking the budget, which they argue is a giveaway to Democrats.

Pence defended the bill, which will fund the federal government for the next five months, calling it a "clear win for the American people" that delivers on President Donald Trump's top priority, defense spending.

"The number one priority of President Trump is to rebuild our military, to restore the arsenal of democracy," Pence said. "And I gotta tell you, to get Democrats in Washington, DC to agree to a $21 billion increase in a short-term budget bill ... it's no small accomplishment."

Pence added that the budget includes the biggest increase in border security funding in a decade and a "down payment on a border wall."

But the budget does not, in fact, include any funding for Trump's promised border wall or cuts to funding for sanctuary cities — two points Democrats are celebrating.

"The omnibus does not fund President Trump's immoral and unwise border wall or create a cruel new deportation force," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement on Monday.

Limbaugh pressed Pence, arguing that a $21 billion increase in defense spending is a "small price to pay" for Democrats, who managed to protect funding for many of their key priorities, including refugee resettlement, Planned Parenthood, and the National Institutes of Health. He argued that Republicans should have been tougher on Democrats, perhaps even threatening a government shutdown.

"There isn't anything of the president's agenda in this budget, and people are beginning to ask, when's that gonna happen?" Limbaugh asked Pence. "If you're gonna shut it down in September, why not now? If you complain about 60 votes today, why not go budget reconciliation for 51 votes and smoke 'em?"

Limbaugh's comment referred to a pair of tweets Trump sent on Tuesday afternoon, in which the president advocated for a government shutdown when the budget deal expires next September.

Pence insisted the budget is at least a preliminary victory for Republicans and the Trump administration.

"This is a short-term bill that finishes out this year," Pence said. "But I think it demonstrates that, in President Trump's leadership, the American people once again have a president who can bring together both parties, who can move the ball forward on the priorities of the American people."

But Limbaugh didn't seem to buy it.

"Mr. Vice President, we've been told this for 15 years, we'll get 'em next time, after every continuing resolution," he said. "We'll get 'em next time, we'll kick the can down the road, we'll get 'em next time."

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