The Death of Bipartisan Cooperation
Just recently, President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan were dealt a devastating blow. The American Health Care Act crashed on the House floor before it could even take off. The Republicans knew they had acted a bit rashly, trying to produce legislation that was far from adequate. It still would have been a symbolic move for the bill to be passed. The House Freedom Caucus were far from satisfied with the bill, causing it to completely flop before even reaching the Senate.
As can be imagined, Trump was very unhappy with the opinions of the House Freedom Caucus. He had essentially tried to manipulate the House members into voting for the bill, threatening to “move on” if it did not pass. The House Freedom Caucus stood their ground, but drew the wrath of Trump. In his frustration, he has stated that he will reach out to Democrats in his next round of policy objectives. Seeking to focus on tax reform, he wants to craft legislation that will be bipartisan enough to draw Democratic support.
Is this even a possible goal? Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, has consistently led his fellow senators in obstructing the president at every turn. So far, it has been generally unsuccessful, but has encouraged others opposed to the president’s policies to continue their own personal opposition. Left-wing activist groups have risen on college campuses, along with many communities that are coming together to protect immigrants from being arrested and deported.
In the past few years, bipartisan cooperation has essentially become nonexistent. Unfortunately, it has now spread to Supreme Court. Former Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, changed the rules to allow for the “nuclear option” for the confirmation of all judicial appointees except for the Supreme Court. The fight for the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch has been tainted by partisan politics. The Democratic senators have consistently maintained their obstructionist attitude, vowing to filibuster. A few senators from states that the president won on election night have declared their support for Gorsuch. However, it appears that the Supreme Court will be no longer safe than the reach of partisan politics. In 2010 when Solicitor General Elena Kagan was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Obama, even after much debate, she was confirmed with the help of Republican senators. That sense of cooperation has been almost completely lost in Congress.
Will President Trump succeed in his mission to work with Democrats? Most likely not. Until Chuck Schumer and the other leaders decide to adopt a policy of more cooperation rather than just opposing the president for political purposes, bipartisan legislation will be non-existent. The president would be better off trying to salvage his relationship with the House Freedom Caucus.
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