Congressional Republicans are not offering President Donald Trump a free ride despite their majority in the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Supreme Court, according to a Tuesday Politico analysis.
Law professor Josh Chafetz, writer of the Politico piece, notes that Congress "appears to be in no hurry" to pass Trump's agenda items such as the American Health Care Act or tax reform.
The president's popularity with the public appears to be a factor. "When presidents' standing in the public sphere is low, they often have trouble getting cooperation even from members of their own party," he wrote.
Republicans are more likely to push back against Trump if his actions appear to be damaging the party's success, "especially if his unpopularity drags down the reelection prospects of other Republicans," Chafetz wrote in Politico.
Four committees are now probing alleged links between Russia and the Trump campaign and administration, and their actions appear to be having an effect. "While there is little doubt they'd be going faster if Democrats controlled one chamber, the extent to which these investigations have proceeded and have damaged the administration is remarkable," he wrote.
The party could see a chance to make Trump's woes work for them, according to Chafetz. "If Trump's presidency at some point really does look like it's going down in flames, Republicans might sense the chance to develop a bipartisan reputation for heroism by vigorously opposing him."
Trump, however, does appear to be having success pushing through presidential appointments, although staffing at the sub-Cabinet level has been slow. "The time required to confirm those nominees later will detract still further from Trump's legislative agenda," he wrote.
According to Chafetz, Republicans in Congress are keeping Trump in check. "It may not be happening as swiftly or as comprehensively as some Democrats might like, but the legislative branch is making its weight felt in the Trump era in a manner that, if it continues, bids fair to leave Trump with a reputation as an extraordinarily weak modern president,"
Some Republicans are becoming concerned that they may need to abandon Trump if they hope to get re-elected, the Washington Examiner reported.
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