Not in My House: Trump Insults Dem at Signing Ceremony for His Own Bill
Nearly two weeks ago, President Donald Trump trolled several Senate Democrats by excluding them from a White House signing ceremony for a piece of legislation they helped craft and pass through Congress.
Now it appears Trump has done the same thing at another signing ceremony, notably to one of the same senators who was left out of the pomp and circumstance the previous time.
According to The Hill, the senator who has now been dissed twice by Trump in two weeks is Jon Tester of Montana, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
The bill in question, which Tester had co-authored, was a sweeping reform effort focused on expanding access to private health care for our nation’s veterans.
The legislation will allow veterans who are unable to receive care at VA facilities to seek necessary treatments from private health care facilities, if approved by their health care provider. It will replace the more limited VA Choice program already in existence.
“You’ve fulfilled your duty to our nation with tremendous loyalty and courage, and with the signing of this veterans’ choice legislation, we take one more crucial step in fulfilling our duty to you,” Trump told veterans Wednesday during a signing ceremony at the White House Rose Garden.
Trump was surrounded by dozens of Republican lawmakers, administration officials and veterans, but Tester was noticeably absent from the event.
According to Tester’s office, the liberal senator never received an invitation from the White House to take part in the event.
“Jon Tester is a work horse, not a show horse,” Tester spokesperson Marnee Banks told The Hill. “What’s most important to Jon is fighting for Montana veterans and holding the VA accountable.”
As previously noted, this is the second time that Tester has been excluded from a White House signing ceremony for a bill which he played an integral role in writing and passing.
The Democrat senator raised the ire of Trump back in April when he pushed several unconfirmed allegations of wrongdoing against White House doctor Navy Admiral Ronny Jackson, who Trump had nominated to lead the VA.
Jackson ultimately withdrew his nomination because of the smear campaign launched against him, in part by Tester, and it is quite obvious Trump hasn’t forgotten that particular turn of events.
It is also worth noting that Tester is up for re-election in the 2018 midterm cycle, and his seat in Montana is one of several Democrat seats in red states won by Trump that are targeted by being Republicans.
There is no doubt that Trump wants to see Tester defeated in the election and ousted from Congress, and he is doing everything he can to lay the groundwork for that potentiality.
By conspicuously omitting Tester from the proceedings, Trump effectively told his longtime enemy he wasn’t welcome in the president’s house
White House signing ceremonies are widely regarded as prime opportunities for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to take a sort of proud victory lap once legislation they helped author is signed into law. These ceremonies are particularly useful in an election year.
For the second time in as many weeks, Trump has denied Tester the opportunity to tout his bipartisan accomplishments for constituents back home on the national stage, proving he is most definitely a marked man in the eyes of the president.
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