As White House spokespeople blithely insist that everything is fine between the Republican president and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, the relationship continues to deteriorate—with vague sniping in the press escalating into screaming private phone calls and public call-outs at rallies and on Twitter.
Always one who thrives on attacking a real or invented enemy, President Donald Trump, whose party controls every level of power in Washington, has targeted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for ridicule, blaming him for just how little Republicans have been able to accomplish in 2017.
The president has also gone after individual lawmakers in his own party, threatening to primary some of the Senate’s most vulnerable GOP members and publicly and privately berating others.
The attacks could not come at a worse time.
Because Congress ate up so much of the year with a failed push to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they have an extremely narrow time frame left to pass a budget, raise the debt ceiling, reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Flood Insurance Program and appropriate funding to stabilize Obamacare’s marketplaces. This would be a challenge even with full support from the White House, but it becomes nearly impossible with a president whose spasms of rage, loose grasp of policy, and itchy Twitter finger threaten to derail the delicate deal-making process.
Here comes the September from hell.
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