Republicans’ Inability to Do Routine Things Is Scuttling Their Big Plans

The 2016 election was a near universal shock. President Trump beat (nearly) all prognosticators. House Republicans only lost 6 seats, retaining their 4th largest House majority since 1930. Senate Republicans also beat the odds and held on to a 52 seat majority. Suddenly, the 2016 Election that was supposed to go bad for Republicans turned into an enormous opportunity.

At least, that was the idea. Saying the 115th Congress has been underwhelming is an understatement. It has passed exactly one significant policy: an omnibus appropriations bill that was negotiated by then-President Obama, then-Speaker Boehner, and Majority Leader McConnell. Two-thirds of that trio is no longer in government, yet their budget deal remains the biggest accomplishment of the year, thus far. The 115th Congress was sworn in with huge ambitions. They were going to repeal/replace the Affordable Care Act, pass an infrastructure package, fund a stronger border wall, and take on tax reform. But so far, the most surprising thing about the 115th Congress is that it is less productive than the 114th Congress when a Democrat was president.

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