The same week he announced he is “serious” about working with Democrats in Congress to pass legislation, President Donald Trump fired off a tweet Thursday morning vowing to fight them and the conservative House Freedom Caucus going forward.
The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2017
How he plans to pass legislation through Congress without support from either Democrats or hardline conservatives remains to be seen. The GOP health care overhaul went down in flames last week due to opposition from both camps as well as moderate Republicans, who have so far escaped the president’s wrath.
Members of the Freedom Caucus and their allies hit back at the President with their own tweets Thursday morning, accusing Trump of becoming part of the “swamp” he had once vowed to drain and pointing to the unpopularity of the bill they helped defeat.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) March 30, 2017
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) March 30, 2017
As they vow to tackle the thorny issue of tax reform in the wake of the health care effort’s demise, Republicans’ narrow majorities in both the House and Senate mean they must unify as a party or reach across the aisle going forward. The President just made both prospects more difficult.
Alice Ollstein is a reporter at Talking Points Memo, covering national politics. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been reporting in DC ever since, covering the Supreme Court, Congress and national elections for TV, radio, print, and online outlets. Her work has aired on Free Speech Radio News, All Things Considered, Channel News Asia, and Telesur, and her writing has been published by The Atlantic, La Opinión, and The Hill Rag. She was elected in 2016 as an at-large board member of the DC Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Alice grew up in Santa Monica, California and began working for local newspapers in her early teens.