WSJ: Congressional Recess, Full Plate Keep the Heat on GOP Lawmakers

Congress

Health care, tax reform, passing a budget, funding the government, paying our nation’s bills… on issue after issue, Republicans are deeply divided. For the past seven months, they’ve pursued partisanship and it has yielded virtually no legislative accomplishments.  So now they have a choice: continue this failed strategy or work with Democrats to address our fiscal challenges and ensure access to affordable health care. Here’s to hoping that they’ll choose the latter after five weeks of hearing from constituents who are fed up with their division and dysfunction. From the WSJ:

“Many of their constituents and party activists blame Congress, more than President Donald Trump, for the health-care stalemate and are pressing them to find a resolution. And before they can do anything, lawmakers face a load of time-sensitive fiscal business: hashing out a budget, funding the government and raising the federal debt limit.”

“The result is a party sent home for a month-long recess to face mixed messages from voters and an uncertain path forward in the fall.”

Tensions between Mr. Trump and his party on Capitol Hill have mounted in recent weeks. The president berated congressional Republicans—as a group— for failing to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act, and some individually for crossing party lines to vote against legislation to replace it.”

Republicans are divided over whether the battle over the ACA is over or whether they should try again for health changes while pursuing a complicated tax-code rewrite. The party also is split over whether to reach out to Democrats or to continue pursuing its agenda on a partisan basis.”

The GOP-led Congress can’t give its full attention to either health or tax matters until it has dispensed with more pressing issues, including raising the federal debt limit by Sept. 29 and keeping the government funded beyond Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.”

“Those time-sensitive issues will be a heavy lift for Republicans. One issue is whether the needed debt-ceiling increase should include conditions demanded by the party’s conservatives. On the spending bill, action could be slowed if Republicans include controversial items such as money for Mr. Trump’s plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in a security-related spending bill.”