Conservative leaders are getting a little anxious about President Donald Trump’s scandal-ridden White House and his inability to pass promised legislation.
In a series of interviews with Politico on Trump and the ongoing Russia investigation, the leaders admitted they need some legislative wins.
“When you talk to a member or their staff these days, you hear about Russia,” one activist with ties to the White House said. “The Russia stuff is really starting to distract people. I didn’t think that two or three months ago. Before, I think everyone thought this was the less version of Benghazi. They don’t feel that way anymore.”
Club for Growth president David McIntosh agreed, saying he would like to see Republicans ignore Russia entirely. The inability for Republican leaders to do so reflects “a lack of discipline on Capitol Hill and an ineffective Congress the last few years.”
“They just need to buckle down and do their job,” McIntosh said. “If they don’t pass Obamacare repeal and if they don’t pass tax cuts, Republicans could lose the majority in 2018.”
The U.S. Senate has already indicated that the House version of Trumpcare is dead on arrival and that they are embarking on their own legislation. Trump’s tax proposal, heavy on cuts for the rich, seems unlikely to pass as well.
“This administration is offering cakes to the fortunate few,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee.
Wall Street Journal reported that Trump told his staff he wanted a “massive tax cut to sell to the American public.” It was less important to him that his tax plan would add to the federal budget deficit. It doesn’t seem promising for fiscal conservatives who refuse to pass bills that are not deficit neutral.
“People are anxious and worried things won’t get done,” said CPAC head Matt Schlapp. “The agenda needs to get done this year. I don’t see how it gets any easier. It’s kind of put-up-or-shut-up time.”