After Democrats handed President Donald Trump his biggest legislative achievement, Republican leaders are worried he doomed his party for the 2018 midterm elections.
Trump, “paved the way for hazardous, rolling deadlines over the next six months,” Burgess Everett, Seung Min Kim and Kyle Cheney report for Politico.
“The debt and spending bill approved by Capitol Hill on Friday averted imminent fiscal disaster, but it’s added more misery for a Republican Party whose agenda has floundered even with unified control of Washington for the first time in a decade,” Politico explained. “It’s also given Democrats significant leverage to imperil tax reform, the GOP’s best hope at a major legislative victory.”
“I don’t like to see the big train wreck in December,” said Sen. John Thune (R-SD). Thune was among a number of Republicans quoted who are worried about the position of their party.
Trump turned to Democrats out of necessity as far-right Republicans refused to support the stopgap spending and debt measure, which included emergency aid for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
“If we get to December and we’ve not repealed and replaced Obamacare, we’ve not built the wall, we’ve not done tax reform, let me just tell you it is not going to be pretty,” said House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC).
A close ally of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) thinks the situation is so dire that the October recess should be cancelled.
“I’m extremely worried,” said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA). “My gosh, why were we not here in August doing all of this?”
A growing mistrust of President Trump has is compounded the packed legislative timeframe the GOP faces.
“Many in the Republican Party are now saying: ‘Hey, the president just made a deal with the Democrats. What’s our path forward?'” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wondered.
The pressure of the December deadline is expected to make it more difficult for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. McConnell to pass a budget and pass tax reform.
“I certainly hope it makes it more difficult to carry out an agenda of trickle-down economics,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said during conference call with reporters on Friday.