GOP lawmakers are starting to greet Trump's threats with 'yawns': report
Donald Trump via AFP

For all of his ranting and raving and issuing statements on Twitter, Donald Trump is having little effect on Republican Party lawmakers who are working with Democrats on a massive infrastructure bill that has some far-right lawmakers upset because it will hand President Joe Biden a win.

As lawmakers from both sides of the aisle work through Saturday negotiating finer points of the bill, the New York Times' Luke Broadwater and Emily Cochrane report that Trump has been raining hell on Republicans who are working towards passing a bill and that they are ignoring his threats -- a sign he may be losing his ability to menace their careers in any meaningful way.

According to the report, "... the reaction inside the Senate, where many members of his party once cowered from Mr. Trump's angry tweets and calculated their votes to avoid his wrath, was mostly yawns," before adding, "Now, the legislation appears on a glide path to pass the Senate with a small but significant share of G.O.P. support — possibly even including Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and minority leader who rarely crossed the former president when he ran the chamber."

The Times reports that it's not just moderates who are bucking the former president -- and that may be bad news for him as he attempts to wrest control of the Republican Party from the GOP leadership.

According to the report, Republicans are balancing serving their constituents with a bill that will likely improve their lives against Trump attacking them for passing a much-needed bill.

"It is one of the most significant steps to date by elected Republicans to defy Mr. Trump, not only by the moderates who have routinely broken with him, but by a wider group that may signal his waning influence on Capitol Hill," the Times reports. "The bill has survived largely because most of the key Republican senators involved in negotiating it are not operating under his influence. And others willing to join them found the allure of a politically popular bipartisan accomplishment that would benefit their constituents stronger than their fear of Mr. Trump. "

Noting, "The collective G.O.P. shrug in the face of Mr. Trump's attacks could be fleeting," one GOP strategist claimed some lawmakers understand the long game better than Trump does.

Republican strategist Scott Jennings told the Times, "I think they take their jobs more seriously than he ever took his," with Broadwater and Cochrane writing that Republican lawmakers also have an ulterior motive.

"Mr. Jennings said their motivation was not so much defying the former president as trying to undercut Democrats' argument in favor of eliminating the filibuster — namely, that the G.O.P. is a party of unreasonable and irresponsible acolytes of Mr. Trump who will reflexively reject any proposal that Democrats support," they wrote before adding that Trump's attacks seem to also be falling on deaf ears among conservative voters.

"At first, Republicans braced for a familiar flood of defections from the infrastructure bill, recalling similar instances when Mr. Trump was president and any critical word from him about a legislative initiative prompted a swift evaporation of G.O.P. support for the measure in question," they wrote. "Instead, the response was crickets."

That lack of response was noted by Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) who admitted, "I firmly believe that people — the longer they live with it, the more they look at it, the more they hear about it, the more they'll like it, including conservatives."

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