© 2024 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
The reason, and tensions, behind Donald Trump’s DC visit
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The reason, and tensions, behind Donald Trump’s DC visit

‘Show me the money.’

Donald Trump was on Capitol Hill Wednesday, meeting with congressional Republicans en route to the real reason for his trip: the Business Roundtable.

It was the former president’s first trip to D.C. since leaving office, and it was less a chance for substantive discussions than an opportunity to get the band back together. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) attended. The Senate Republican leader notably delivered one of the most fiery addresses of his career against Trump after the January 6 Capitol riot, and the two reportedly haven’t spoken since. Nothing like a family reunion.

The Republican Party’s friendship with Big Business hasn’t been reciprocated for decades now, but for Trump it never existed.

That wasn’t the only unspoken tension, of course. Republican leaders are eager for Trump’s sign-off on their plan to pass an omnibus spending bill this fall, covering into 2025. They’re selling it as “clearing the deck” for a potential Trump presidency, so he won’t have to deal with all the nasty bits of negotiations and can get right down to the business of governing.

This isn’t so simple, of course, since so much of a first year of governing would be decided in this omnibus. Democrats would be able to slip traps and poison pills into all aspects of the 2025 agenda, from border security to foreign policy. And that latter bit — foreign policy — is where D.C. Republicans get excited.

A fall omnibus means more money for Ukraine, dear to many Republicans. While Congress has ceded most of its power to the executive over the past 40 years, members take money they appropriate for war seriously. If Trump were to touch a hair on its head in the name of the president’s prerogative to shape foreign policy, he’d be walking into an impeachment trap.

He shouldn’t fall for it, and some conservatives are keen to make sure he doesn’t. These policy planners are hoping for a “clean” continuing resolution instead.

Republicans, they argue, can spend the fall working out the intense negotiations any major spending package would entail and in the meantime kick back the deadline to winter 2025 by maintaining (but neither increasing nor decreasing) government funding until then.

The reality of appropriations is complicated and messy, and it’s unclear how many congressmen really know what they’re doing. As one Republican committee staffer told Blaze News, “It’s like planning your wedding and your retirement at the same time.”

But Trump wasn’t there to talk to substantive policy, either. The real purpose of his visit was meeting with American business leaders in the hopes of raising money for his campaign to return to the White House.

Democrats were keen to stop this, of course. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) released a statement fitting “insurrection,” “scene of the crime,” “Nazi,” “Confederate,” “death, injury and trauma,” “dictator,” “revenge,” “crime against the Constitution” and “dismantling our democracy” into just six sentences. Joe Biden’s re-election campaign was slightly less dramatic, releasing an ad claiming Trump wants “to burn it all down.”

But that didn’t stop some of America’s top executives from taking the meeting, including (reportedly) the CEOs of Apple, Nasdaq, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, American Express, JPMorgan Chase, American Express, and Bank of America.

The Republican Party’s friendship with Big Business hasn’t been reciprocated for decades now, but for Trump it never existed. His talk of trade tariffs at his earlier meetings with his party’s legislators would very likely come up in conversation. Still, there is some fatigue from the antics of Biden and the Democrats.

“I wish the Democrats would think a little more carefully when they talk about MAGA,” JP Morgan Chase's celebrity CEO, Jamie Dimon, told Davos attendees in January. “Just take a step back and be honest: He was kind of right about NATO. He was kind of right about immigration. He grew the economy quite well. Tax reform worked. ... I don’t like how he said things about Mexico, but he wasn’t wrong about some of these critical issues, and that’s why they’re voting for him.”

Sign up for Bedford’s newsletter
Sign up to get Blaze Media senior politics editor Christopher Bedford's newsletter.


The next steps on Senate opposition to Biden’s lawfare

Republican Sens. J.D. Vance (Ohio), Mike Lee (Utah), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.) and Eric Schmitt (Mo.) signed on to a letter Wednesday declaring their intent to block the fast-tracking of any of White House judicial and attorney general nominees, as well as any others who have supported Democrats’ lawfare and censorship through donations, through membership or affiliation with supportive organizations, or through public or social media comments.

Objecting to the fast-tracking of nominations is a big headache for the U.S. Senate, which maintains a roughly three-day work week through barely contested voice votes and unanimous consent. Any senator has a right to object when a colleague tries to call for “unanimous consent,” and when somebody does, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) needs to devote somewhere between two and 30 hours of floor time (depending on the post) to allow his colleagues to speak on the nomination before voting.

There aren’t many days left on the Senate calendar in the first place, so Schumer won’t want to do that. Judges matter a good deal to him, so you’ll likely see some fireworks there, but those loyal partisans hoping to pad their résumés with Senate-confirmed positions are very likely out of luck.

Of course, these things take dedication. The signers need to be on hand to object — and willing to take the slings and arrows and snipes from their colleagues and the press, à la Tuberville. As with Lee’s broader but similar coalition, the more who join, the merrier (and the more trouble they can cause).

The fire rises: Autoweek: Why Ford’s billion-dollar restoration of Michigan Central Station is more than just a model refresh (photos)

The world of architecture is rarely the source of good news. The expert class is committed to ugliness, claims beauty is too expensive anyway, and tells all us plebs we’d appreciate it all if only we were more cultured. This is completely wrong, of course, and all around us we see beautiful buildings decay while soulless glass and plastic replace them.

Ford Motor Company is apparently an exception to this sad reality, and this summer Henry Ford’s great-grandson's commitment to beauty, craftsmanship, and his home city has delivered an incredible feat: the restoration of the 110-year-old Beaux-Arts Michigan Central Station. Tom Murphy reports:

Those of us who have spent our lives in Metro Detroit have been waiting many, many years for the day when the Michigan Central Station, a massive train depot that opened in 1913 and later was abandoned and became a symbol of everything that was wrong with Detroit, would someday find new life.

Miraculously, that day has come, thanks to the passion of William Clay Ford Jr., who decided this eyesore — with more than a little work and polish — could become a technology incubator and research hub for his family company, the Ford Motor Co.

The executive chairman — great-grandson of company founder, Henry Ford — committed $90 million to buy the three-story Beaux Arts train depot and 18-story tower in 2018, then another $1 billion to rebuild it and restore its old-world grandeur.

Want to leave a tip?

We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Want to join the conversation?
Already a subscriber?
Christopher Bedford

Christopher Bedford

Christopher Bedford is the senior editor for politics and Washington correspondent for Blaze Media.
@CBedfordDC →