Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had it easy with former President Obama. An understanding was in place that after the GOP became the majority in Congress, McConnell could grandstand all he wanted for political gain, knowing he’d never have to actually follow through on any promises because Obama would never sign the bill.
With President Trump, it’s a whole different ball game for the do-nothing Congress, who are now expected to follow through on years of promises.
McConnell was left with a stain on his legislative record after the healthcare bill failed to pass the Senate. McConnell went on to complain to a Rotary Club gathering in his home state about President Trump’s “excessive expectations.” President Trump promptly fired back, floating the idea that McConnell should perhaps resign if he wasn’t able to help pass the White House’s agenda. According to The Hill, President Trump’s offensive has left McConnell “stunned.”
The Hill reports: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) did not intend to pick a fight when he questioned President Trump’s expectations and was surprised by the explosion it produced, according to people close to the Senate GOP leader.
Senator Mitch McConnell said I had “excessive expectations,” but I don’t think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017
McConnell and Trump spoke Wednesday about what McConnell’s allies characterized as a misunderstanding, but that did little to quell the president’s anger.
“We should have had healthcare approved,” Trump said Friday from his New Jersey golf club. “[McConnell] should have known that he had a couple of votes that turned on him and that should have been very easy to handle, whether it’s through the fact that can take away a committee chairmanship or do whatever you have to do.”
Sources close to McConnell say he is stunned by Trump’s attacks, which have only increased in recent days, as an attack on a member of his own team. Some in the Trump administration, however, think McConnell should have seen it coming.
A senior administration official expressed “100 percent agreement” with the president that McConnell has not done enough to advance his legislative agenda. The source cited McConnell’s failure to pass healthcare reform and the record-slow pace in confirming his nominees to key executive branch positions.
Donald Trump was elected President to reform a bloated bureaucracy and spur economic growth. Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks that’s ‘all well and good,’ but expectations should be pegged down in relation to what Congress can realistically accomplish.
The President took to Twitter Wednesday, responding to McConnell’s criticism, where he complained about Trump’s “excessive expectations.” “Senator Mitch McConnell said I had “excessive expectations,” but I don’t think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?”, tweeted President Trump.
The Gateway Pundit reported Tuesday, McConnell told a group of voters at a Kentucky Rotary Club gathering that President Trump’s “excessive expectations” are harming Congress’ ability to salvage its awful reputation and get things done. McConnell vented about the President’s political inexperience, complaining Trump’s focus on short timelines don’t reflect what Congress can actually accomplish.
ABC News reports: Speaking at a Rotary Club gathering in Kentucky on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vented about how President Donald Trump’s lack of political experience has led to him setting “excessive expectations” for legislative priorities.
McConnell, R-Ky., told the group in Florence that he found it “extremely irritating” that Congress has earned the reputation of not accomplishing anything.
“Part of the reason I think that the storyline is that we haven’t done much is because, in part, the president and others have set these early timelines about things need to be done by a certain point,” said McConnell, a Republican and the state’s senior senator.
Trump, a political newcomer, as McConnell noted, has a habit of declaring progress on major priorities that do not necessarily reflect the reality of lawmaking.
For example, as the House was in the midst of negotiations about its Obamacare replacement bill in February, Trump announced that Congress was in the “final stages” of its bill and said it would be ready for “submitting” in March. While the House bill was unveiled in March, that chamber didn’t vote on it until May, and health care votes continued until the end of July.
That sort of disconnect has led to Trump’s expressing disappointment when bills — chief among them health care reform — fail to end up on his desk, even though, as with health care, the political reality indicated all along how difficult it was going to be to pass legislation.
“Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before. And I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process,” McConnell told the group. “So part of the reason I think people feel we’re underperforming is because too many artificial deadlines — unrelated to the reality of the complexity of legislating — may not have been fully understood.”