Sen. McConnell Says Trump Has “Excessive Expectations”
Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems to believe Trump could benefit from reviewing how the U.S. government works. While speaking at the Florence Rotary Club in Kentucky on Monday, Aug. 7, McConnell said Trump has "excessive expectations" about how quickly the legislative process should occur, The Hill reports. During his speech, McConnell said he finds it "extremely irritating" Congress has a reputation for not getting anything done.
These remarks come after Republicans have repeatedly failed in their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in recent months, even with a majority in Congress.
McConnell also appeared to suggest Trump doesn't really understand how Congress works when he stated,
Now our new president has of course not been in this line of work before... And so, part of the reason I think people feel like we're underperforming is because too many artificial deadlines unrelated to the reality and the complexity of legislature may not have been fully understood.
To summarize, the Senate majority leader seemingly blames Trump's political naïveté over the fact some might view the Republican party as ineffective in terms of its ability to push its agenda through Congress. Trump will likely not appreciate this critique, but perhaps it's something he needs to hear.
Trump has definitely exhibited an impatience with the democratic process.
In his first 200 days, Trump has made announcements about legislative progress that were arguably premature.
In February, for example, Trump said Republicans were in the “final stages” of crafting a bill for Obamacare replacement and would have something by March. The bill was indeed introduced in March, but wasn't voted on until May. While the House bill ultimately passed, it would hit major roadblocks in the Senate in the months to come and the GOP's fight to repeal and replace Obamacare would end up failing miserably.
But when the House bill passed in May, Trump celebrated with a huge victory speech at the White House. At the time, many pointed out the president didn't seem to realize the bill still needed to go through the Senate.
Meanwhile, Trump has consistently pressured and attacked his own party on Twitter for not getting things done at a faster pace.
Trump has also called for an end to the filibuster without thinking of the impact such a move could have on his agenda if Democrats win a majority in the 2018 midterms. There's also a strong case to be made the filibuster is an integral part of the democratic process, given it helps ensure the minority party still has a voice.
Long story short, the Senate majority leader might have a point in terms of how Trump is influence public perception of Congress.
Trump is hardly the only one to blame for how unpopular Congress is.
McConnell is also arguably overlooking the fact legislation put forward by Republicans in recent months has been exceptionally unpopular, especially in terms of health care. Perhaps the Republican leadership would have an easier time pushing for health care reform if it didn't champion bills that could potentially take health coverage away from millions of people. It's hard to rally politicians behind a bill when they're aware of the backlash it could generate among their constituents.
If McConnell is truly searching for the source of the GOP's problems in Congress perhaps he and the rest of the leadership should look in the mirror.