The Republican-led Congress has a laundry list of legislative necessities they face when they return from the holiday break. However, one of Speaker Paul Ryan's right-wing fever dreams is to gut Social Security and Medicare. The legislative agenda conflicts with campaign promises President Donald Trump made, assuring Americans he wouldn't cut any social safety nets.
During a Tuesday morning panel discussion, CNN commentator David Drucker noted that the tea party wing of the GOP won't have anything to do with the massive infrastructure bill that Trump wants to pass. That leaves the GOP at the mercy of Democrats in passing the bill.
"If they're going to get help from Democrats in the Senate, which they would need, because it's a spending bill, Democrats are going to demand all sorts of things," Drucker said. He noted that the Democrats are "not going to help President Trump and the Republicans govern, help their majorities look good, if they don't extract significant concessions. But January is really going to be a bear."
Contributor and RealClearPolitics associate editor A.B. Stoddard agreed, noting the hopes of an $800 billion state-funded infrastructure package isn't going to make it by the House Freedom Caucus.
"He's going to need the Democrats," she said. "And so that's going to have to be completely bipartisan, because they won't have back up Republican bills."
She went on to encourage the GOP to reach out to the other side of the aisle now because issues like hurricane relief, legal actions on DREAMers and the Children's Health Insurance Program all must be resolved by January 20th, before the infrastructure bill comes close to being proposed..
"Also, that entitlement reform that Paul Ryan wants," Stoddard began. "They have a euphemism they've created, calling it 'welfare reform,' because the president ran against never cutting Medicare or Social Security. So, that's a fight within, again, the Republican party. If he wants to go after food stamps and stuff, the Democrats are not going to be so helpful, I don't think, on infrastructure."
The same trick was used in September, when White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney revealed the same tactic.
Trump repeatedly pledged not to cut the programs:
We have to make the U.S.A. RICH again so that we can afford to pay Social Security, Medicare,and Medicaid and STRONG to keep our enemies out— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1402227385.0
I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. Huckabee copied me.— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1431013120.0
Huckabee is a nice guy but will never be able to bring in the funds so as not to cut Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. I will.— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1431013229.0
The Republicans who want to cut SS & Medicaid are wrong. A robust economy will Make America Great Again! https://t.co/u25yI5T7E8— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1436603009.0
Watch the full conversation below: