Afternoon Roundup: "Losing Control" Edition

Congress

There are only five legislative days before the August district work period and what do House Republicans have to show for the last seven months? Not much. And press is taking note:

Washington Post: Republicans are in full control of government — but losing control of their party

“Six months after seizing complete control of the federal government, the Republican Party stands divided as ever — plunged into a messy war among its factions that has escalated in recent weeks to crisis levels.”

Frustrated lawmakers are increasingly sounding off at a White House awash in turmoil and struggling to accomplish its legislative goals. President Trump is scolding Republican senators over health care and even threatening electoral retribution. Congressional leaders are losing the confidence of their rank and file. And some major GOP donors are considering using their wealth to try to force out recalcitrant incumbents.”

“With his priorities stalled and Trump consumed by staff changes and investigations into Russian interference in last year’s election, Republicans are adding fuel to a political fire that is showing no signs of burning out.”

Politico: GOP despairs at inability to deliver

“The Republican Party is more powerful than it’s been in more than a decade — and yet it has never seemed so weak.”

“Continuing chaos in the White House has been punctuated by the failure to deliver on the GOP’s seven-year pledge to overhaul Obamacare, and has many asking whether the party can capitalize on the sweeping victories it has achieved at the federal, state, and local levels.”

With control of both Congress and the White House — and yet no major legislative successes to point to — the Republican Party is finding itself stuck. A GOP Congress is frustrated with the president, and is unsure what will happen next in his daily West Wing drama…”

The Hill: Congressional GOP struggles for a win as recess looms

No healthcare overhaul. No tax reform. No infrastructure package. No budget. No government funding bill. …It's now entirely possible that congressional Republicans will depart for the long August recess without sending a single major piece of legislation to President Trump’s desk.”

“During the first six months of the new unified GOP government, Congress has sent just a handful of small-bore bills to Trump’s desk: legislation rolling back a slew of Obama-era environmental and other regulations, making it easier to discipline or fire Veterans Affairs Department employees and protecting the nation’s food and agriculture systems against terrorism.”

“‘Pointing the finger at somebody else for the blame is not going to work, whether it’s the Senate or anybody else,’ said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. ‘If we don’t have ObamaCare repeal done, it makes it very difficult to run home and say, ‘Look at what we’ve accomplished.’"

Talking Points Memo: ‘We Have To Get It Together’: GOP Panics Over Imploding Agenda

“With Obamacare repeal teetering on collapse, tax reform looking like an even heavier lift and the Trump White House spinning further into chaos, Republicans are increasingly worried that they may squander unified control of government and fail to score any big legislative achievements.”

“‘It’s upside down, what do you want me to say?’ Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) told TPM when asked how things were going within his party.

“‘It’s been some of the most chaotic six, seven months I’ve ever spent here. I’ve been here 20 years, with a Democratic president just sworn in, a Republican president just sworn in, and this has been somewhat of a chaotic circus,’ Jones continued. ‘It’s going to be very difficult to get any major legislation through Congress this year, and I think next year there’ll be even less of a chance.’”

“‘The bottom line is we have found a way to mire ourselves into our own frustrations and we’ve got to end that,’ House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX)…”