Steve's Blog

Is Trump’s Next Divorce Going to be From the Republican Party?

I hate to say “I told ya so.” But I did. About five months ago, in my blog, on April 5th, 2017 to be exact, I predicted as follows: “Here’s the way I see it. It’s quite possible, that if Donald Trump can’t get the votes he needs from a united Republican team in Congress, he’ll go to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to get the votes he needs. This pulls legislation in a less conservative, bigger-spending direction.”

And last week, President Trump did just that. He essentially blind-sided Republican Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and cut a deal with Schumer and Pelosi. The deal kept the government open and raised the debt ceiling for the next three months, and allocated about $15 billion towards Hurricane Harvey relief. Chuck and Nancy looked like cats who’d caught the proverbial canary, and Paul and Mitch looked like they’d lost their best friend.

Why did Trump do this? Well, not surprisingly, he told us in his tweets:

In other words, President Trump doesn’t trust Republicans in Congress to have our act together enough to be depended on. The failure to repeal and replace Obamacare was particularly galling. If we were unable to do something we’d all promised to do, FOR SEVEN YEARS, how could we be trusted to do anything?

And since Republicans in the Senate have been unwilling to throw out their outdated filibuster rule (except to confirm Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch) Democrats can block Republicans from doing virtually anything. That cedes the true power to Chuck Schumer.

Trump realizes this, and figures he’ll go directly to Chuck Schumer and just deal with him (and Nancy Pelosi.) He assumes that Republicans in the House and the Senate will have to accept whatever this triumvirate works out, and that’s probably a pretty good assumption. Unfortunately, whatever legislation results from this (unholy) alliance, will be less conservative, and bigger-spending, than what would have resulted from negotiations between Trump and Republicans in Congress.

As someone who really cares about getting Washington’s runaway spending under control, I’m very disappointed, although not surprised, by this latest development. It is absolutely critical that Republicans in both the House and the Senate get their act together, and get on the same page.

The next big test will probably be reforming and reducing taxes. It’s my hope that Republicans will be able to coalesce around a plan which simplifies the tax code, reenergizes the economy, and lowers taxes substantially on all Americans (who actually pay taxes.) After the failure to repeal Obamacare there can be no excuses this time. Otherwise President Trump is likely to be cutting deals with a SPEAKER Nancy Pelosi and a Senate MAJORITY Leader Chuck Schumer.

And if that happens, our nation is in a world of hurt.

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