US President Donald Trump pauses during a meeting with, from left, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders in the Oval Office of the White House. (AP photo)
US President Donald Trump’s decision to cut a debt limit agreement with Democratic senators in Congress has left members of Trump’s own Republican Party alarmed about the unraveling of their relationship with the White House.
Trump’s unexpected deal with Democrats on Wednesday on the debt ceiling stunned Republican lawmakers and appeared to be an intentional effort to undermine Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, and House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin.
At the White House meeting, Trump overruled McConnell, Ryan and his own Treasury secretary and agreed to a short-term budget deal with Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who were also in the meeting.
The deal combines disaster aid for Hurricane Harvey victims with measures to keep the government open and extend the debt ceiling for three more months.
Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, said he couldn’t remember a president ever showing such a level of disrespect to leaders of his own party.
“All the news reports show that this is a very unusual time and situation,” McCain said, referring to press accounts of the meeting where Trump sided with Democrats.
Representative Walter Jones, a Republican from North Carolina, said Trump’s inconsistency and unpredictability have made it nearly impossible for GOP leaders to project unity. 
“There’s very little consistency. This makes it difficult for the leadership,” Jones told The Hill newspaper.
Some White House officials underscored Trump’s frustration with Ryan and McConnell.
“Is he annoyed at Republican leadership? Yeah, I think he probably is. And believe me, as a Republican, so am I. As a citizen, I am, too,” the White House budget director and former Republican congressman Mick Mulvaney said on Fox Business.
Sam Nunberg, a Republican policy analyst and former advisor to Trump 2016 presidential campaign acknowledged the president's strained relationship with GOP leaders, but said it was "boneheaded" for him to deal with Democrats.  
But Nunberg faulted Ryan and McConnell for not offering up a compelling fiscal package for Trump.
"While he remains extremely frustrated with Republican leadership, the leadership can complain all they want but they offered him nothing except for a long-term extension," Nunberg said.
The US government spends more money than it brings in through taxes and fees, and it covers that gap by borrowing money from the US Treasury Department through issuing Treasury securities.
The government can borrow money only up to a certain limit, known as the debt limit or the debt ceiling. The government routinely reaches this limit, requiring Congress to raise it again and again.
Failure to increase the cap from the current $19.8 trillion could lead to default, sending shockwaves across global markets.
American financial firms are expressing alarm over fears that an increasingly dysfunctional US Congress may fail to reach an agreement to raise the country’s debt ceiling.

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