A Rough Recess for Congressional Republicans
After 7 months of controlling Congress and the White House, Republicans have yet to produce any major legislative achievements: nothing to create jobs, nothing to grow wages and nothing to improve health care for hard-working American families.
The lack of a signature accomplishment Republican lawmakers can highlight at home this month has given rise to a new level of finger-pointing and soul-searching in a party that stood triumphant eight months ago after winning back full control of the federal government.
By the 2009 August recess, Obama and the Democratic Congress had enacted a sweeping economic stimulus, had confirmed Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court and were in the midst of a health-care push that would culminate in the Affordable Care Act a few months later.
It has indeed been a particularly long seven-twelfths of a year, by any measure except math. Tweets have been tweeted. Resisters are resisting. Bills have rarely become laws, but the journey has been taxing.
Republicans are playing defense as they return to their home states with few signature accomplishments to tout … GOP lawmakers are facing constituents with an agenda that is months behind schedule and growing frustration with a White House many believe has at times undermined key priorities.
And that’s not all – an increasingly tense relationship between President Trump and Congressional Republicans over the president’s ‘excessive expectations’ foreshadows even more threats and roadblocks for progress in September.
When Congress returns Sept. 5, lawmakers will face have an extensive and difficult roster of must-do items, most important among them increasing the federal debt limit and, separately, preventing a government shutdown when the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. Federal flood insurance and the popular children’s health insurance program expire as well.
Republicans are also far behind on the budget, a prerequisite for any Republican-only overhaul of the tax code. And, Congress is far behind on the annual round of spending legislation, the 12 appropriations bills that fund government agencies.
President Trump and Congressional Republicans have failed to deliver the promises they made to the American people. When Congress returns in September, Democrats vow to continue the fight to raise wages, create good-paying jobs, lower the costs of living for families and build an economy that gives hard-working Americans the tools to succeed in the 21st century.