Are the 292 Republicans in Congress leaving for their 5-week summer break with their tail between their legs? They have had six months with power alongside a Republican president, and they have almost none of their primary legislative goals fulfilled.
Congress will officially be on break until September 5. This gives voters a lot of time to reflect on questions like…Why haven’t we fixed, repealed or replaced ObamaCare? Why haven’t we overhauled the tax code? Why haven’t we invested more into job creation?
These questions will now echo in an empty chamber on Capitol Hill.
The control of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives have produced little regarding the lofty campaign promises.
The White House is so distracted by the Russian probe, the special counsel and now a Washington grand jury, that there has not been any major legislation proposed since the January 20 inauguration.
It is becoming more and more accepted that voters will punish the GOP in the November 2018 elections for their inaction. That will make it nearly impossible for Trump to get anything done in 2019-2020.
Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said in a recent interview that the Republican failure to repeal ObamaCare “is going to be difficult to explain to the (Republican) base.“
If you are looking for the positives, they are few and far between for conservatives. Trump was able to confirm in April Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. And this week both Democrats and Republicans were able to pressure Trump to enact a Russia-Iran-North Korea sanctions bill. Lawmakers were also able to pass bills that improve veteran’s healthcare and renew a Food and Drug Administration funding stream. The Senate recently confirmed a new FBI director and Congress repealed 14 Obama-era regulations.
But as Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina confessed to reporters, “We have not done well on the big events.”
Pressure will mount even further when the lawmakers return in September. They will have to mend rifts in the party over funding and avoid an October 1st federal agency shutdown. They will also have to raise Washington’s borrowing limit or trigger a historic U.S. default (A luxury the common man does not have).
Another issue is that Republicans have failed even to signal that they are willing to work with Democrats. As a result, they have effectively left out a portion of American voters.
Before they left for their summer break, the Senate did manage one more positive thing by closing ranks: They unanimously passed a resolution proclaiming September 25th as National Lobster Day. They may have left D.C. with their tail between their legs, but in a little over a month, we can melt some butter and feast on lobster tails.