INDIANAPOLIS – Congressmen Messer and Rokita have yet to say whether they stand against their president or their party’s congressional leadership after this afternoon’s tentative funding deal was announced in Washington.
Reports out of the White House today indicate that a deal has been reached to keep the government open for three months and raise the debt ceiling. But the contours of the deal have apparently split the Republican party, with the president and Democratic leadership coming to an agreement, while Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell oppose the deal.
Both sides are dug in; the president said he “had a very good meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer,” failing to mention a single Republican involved, while Politico’s Playbook writes that “every Republican leadership aide we’ve spoken to disagrees with this strategy, and thinks the president got rolled.”
While Republicans pick sides on the agreement, two voices in Indiana are notably quiet. Neither Congressmen Messer nor Rokita have said anything publicly about the deal. Their silence is especially notable as both men seek to paint themselves as Trump’s candidate in the primary. But with both men having strong ties to Republican congressional leadership as well, it remains to be seen which of their leaders they’ll side against.
“Congressmen Messer and Rokita seem to be so afraid of offending either faction of their party that they’re willing to hide from Hoosiers where they stand on today’s deal,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “This isn’t the type of leadership that Indiana expects from its lawmakers, and it’s far less than we deserve. Are Congressmen Messer and Rokita supporting the president, and opposing their own leadership? Or will they deliver a blow to Trump’s biggest deal in office so far and stand behind their congressional leaders?”