We’ve been hearing for weeks that anyone meeting with Alaska’s congressional delegation or their staff is being told that even their GOP colleagues in D.C. aren’t eager to move the President’s agenda. Now, multiple reports are detailing the specifics of that dysfunction.
Time: “Problems await Trump’s agenda at every turn. The Republican tax-reform plan has sparked a backlash from key GOP Senators, big-box retailers and powerful conservative advocacy groups with millions in ads at the ready. The plan to repeal and replace Obamacare faces a two-front revolt in the House, where some Republicans think the working replacement plan is too severe, while others believe it would permanently enshrine a new big-government entitlement. Even the plan to pour billions into the Pentagon is unlikely to happen while Republicans protect cherished programs in law enforcement, diplomacy and education.”
“As a business mogul, Trump has typically thrived amid chaos. But now that he’s President, the stakes are higher and the players far more difficult to manage. The Republican math for getting things passed remains unforgiving, prompting no less a figure than former House Speaker John Boehner to predict a quick end to GOP ‘happy talk’ about repealing and replacing Obamacare quickly.”
New York Times: “When Republicans won in November, it looked as if 2017 would reflect a major legislative shift to the right. But two months into the 115th Congress and six weeks into the Trump administration, progress on fulfilling Republicans’ major domestic policy goals is looking further away, not closer.”
“But there’s another element in the sluggish or nonexistent progress on major elements of the Republican agenda. Large portions of the Republican caucus embrace a kind of policy nihilism. They criticize any piece of legislation that doesn’t completely accomplish conservative goals, but don’t build coalitions to devise complex legislation themselves.”
“The roster of congressional Republicans includes lots of passionate ideological voices. It is lighter on the kind of wonkish, compromise-oriented technocrats who move bills.”