Congress now has four weeks to pass something of the Trump agenda, since it has done almost nothing in the past year. This is unprecedented for a party that controls all three branches of the government to get as little done as the current majority has done. Thanks to Harry Reid, the Senate Republicans have been forced to pass Trump’s judicial nominees since the filibuster isn’t there to protect them from the voters.
Mitch McConnell (who by the way still has yet to even ask for Senator Groper Al Franken’s resignation from the Senate after demanding possible future Republican Senator Roy Moore drop out for much less) and the Senate Republicans seem dead set on grinding any reform or repeal of the previous Democrat administration initiatives to a halt. Bob Corker and Jeff Flake have already previously announced their plans on killing President Trump’s initiatives because he was mean to them. Including these two, many of these Senators who have torpedoed the efforts to pass legislation in the Trump era were touting their conservative credentials to the voters and attacking Trump’s during his campaign.
It is now in plain sight that these Senators are neither conservative nor are they adults and vote with their emotions rather than for the good of their party or country. The Democrats do not have the insane disconnect with their elected politicians that the Republicans have with theirs.
In fact, with the pettiness and childlike behavior on display in the Senate, courtesy of Flake, McCain, Murkowski, Collins, Capito, Portman, Paul, Corker, and others taking turns killing the hopes of any conservative reform, the Democrats have shown a surprising united front in their elected officials given the turmoil going on within their own party.
The Democrats have pledged to remove support for any bill funding the government that does not allow illegal aliens, currently benefiting from the deferred action for childhood arrivals expiring executive order, to also receive amnesty. If the government shuts down in time for Christmas, it is because the Democrats now want a dirty budget that funds and makes law their globalist and anti-American pet projects.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, President Trump already laid out his requests for any bill coming out of Congress having to deal with immigration, in case the Democrats get any ideas of ramming DACA through in this session. President Trump demanded that any bill dealing with DACA recipients would have to also include a near complete rework of the existing immigration system in the United States.
As President Trump’s demands are a complete nonstarter with nearly the entire Democrat party, President Trump has effectively torpedoed any measure that the Democrats and Republicans come up with to legalize these illegal aliens.
The tax plan is on life support in the Senate (here we are, yet again, with the Senate being the focal point on whether anything gets done… thank you Mitch McConnell) in large part because conservatives just are not present in the chamber.
The House under Speaker Paul Ryan, who actually is effective in at least getting bills through his chamber, unlike that useless slug McConnell, has already passed a tax plan. The time is ticking and nobody knows if a Republican majority in the Senate can pass tax cuts. That is what the Republican party is reduced to now… we are discussing why not even tax cuts may be possible anymore.
It is no wonder President Trump went to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to pass a debt ceiling and continuing resolution bill, the Republicans just aren’t reliable for anything other than offering up each other as sacrificial lambs to a media and popular culture obsessed with social justice issues.
The Associated Press has laid it out (along with the oft repeated remarks on “bipartisanship” which always means Congress unites to screw everyone else):
Trump and congressional leaders plan a meeting Tuesday to discuss how to sidestep a shutdown and work though the legislative to-do list.
For the optimistic, it’s plain that Democrats and Republicans have reasons to cooperate, particularly on spending increases for the Pentagon and domestic agencies whose budgets otherwise would be frozen. An additional round of hurricane aid should be bipartisan, and efforts to reauthorize a popular health care program for children seem to be on track.
Republicans are advancing their cherished tax cut measure under special rules that mean Senate Democrats cannot use delaying tactics. The measure passed the House just before the Thanksgiving break and moves to the Senate floor this coming week.
After the Senate GOP’s failure on health care this summer, the majority party is under enormous pressure to produce a victory on taxes. Still, GOP deficit hawks such as Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona remain uneasy about the overhaul.
While Democrats are largely sidelined on taxes, they hold leverage over a mix of budget-related issues.
First, there’s the need to avert a government shutdown after a temporary spending bill expires on Dec. 8. The most likely scenario, congressional aides say, is for an additional extension until Christmas. On a parallel track are talks to raise spending limits that are keeping agency budgets essentially frozen unless those caps are raised. If that happens, then negotiations could begin in earnest on a massive catchall spending measure in hopes of having it signed into law by year’s end.
Taxes have gotten all the attention so far, but the showdown over a potential shutdown right before Christmas could soon take center stage. Democrats are counting on GOP fears of a holiday season closure to ensure Republican concessions during December talks.
Both sides would have to make concessions that may upset partisans in either party. Just as House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., fears a revolt on the right, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California risks an uprising on her left. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., round out the quartet of top negotiators.
“Everybody’s got complicated politics. The chance of short-term failure is pretty high — short-term failure being a shutdown,” said Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic lobbyist. “But the four of them, assuming they don’t want to shut the government down for a long time, are going to have to come to an accommodation.”
Talks on the spending caps are stuck, however, aides say. A GOP offer to lift the Pentagon budget by more than $54 billion next year and nondefense limits by $37 billion was rejected by Democrats demanding balance between the two sides of the ledger.
Long-delayed battles over immigration and Trump’s promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border are huge obstacles. Many Democrats whose votes are needed on the spending bills insist they won’t vote for any legislation that includes the wall. Trump remains dead set on his $1.6 billion request for a down payment on the project.
We all shall see what happens as the year closes, the track record thus far on legislation has been dismal.