The White House legislative operation is laughably bad, according to Democratic lawmakers who say they haven’t heard from the president’s team in months.
The federal government remains shut down over President Donald Trump’s demands for funding to build a wall along the entirety of the U.S.-Mexico border, but numerous congressional sources say the White House has done almost nothing to win votes, reported The Daily Beast.
The president has met with Republican congressional leaders and hosted centrist House Democrats at the White House, but he abruptly walked out of a meeting last week with Democratic leaders.
That seems to be the extent of Trump’s efforts to get a government funding bill passed, lawmakers say.
“I don’t even know who is assigned to my office in the White House, that’s how bad their outreach team is,” said Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), who added that his office hasn’t heard from the president’s team in at least six months.
Only two Democrats from districts Trump won — Reps. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), who were invited to Wednesday’s meeting — have heard from the White House during the shutdown.
“You’d think they would (reach out) since I’m from a Trump district,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), laughing. “I guess I didn’t make the cut.”
Only one of the Democratic senators from states Trump won in 2016 — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), whose office received a “courtesy call” from Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner — have heard from the president or his staff since the shutdown began.
“Not a word,” a spokesperson for Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) told The Daily Beast.
“Nope,” Sen. Dough Jones (D-AL) told the website.
The president’s aides and adviser blame Democrats, saying they should reach out to Trump, and not the other way around.
“They’re grown adults, they can call the president and the White House,” said former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), a Trump surrogate. “It’s a two-way street. You can’t just sit in your corner.”
However, one former senior White House official said the situation revealed the dysfunction surrounding the president.
Aides and advisers to the president maintain that Democratic recalcitrance, not poor Hill outreach, is the underlying reason a shutdown resolution hasn’t been reached.
“The way the invitations have been extended is more a function of the chaos than a lack of true desire to get Democrats to participate,” the former official said.