For months, Donald Trump has tried to convince the public that the new Democratic majority in the House is choosing not to govern. The president recently tweeting, “[T]he Dems are getting nothing done in Congress. They are frozen stiff.” It came on the heels of a series of related missives, one of which insisted, “Democrats … don’t want to do anything.”
He repeated the claim this morning:
“The Democrats in Congress are getting nothing done, not on drug pricing, not on immigration, not on infrastructure, not on nothing! Sooo much opportunity, yet all they want to do is go ‘fishing.’ The American people are tired of the never ending Witch Hunt, they want results now!”
If Trump wanted to complain that House Dems are pursuing ideas he opposes, that would at least make sense. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her conference are advancing all kinds of progressive priorities, and it stands to reason that the Republican White House would oppose practically everything Democrats like.
But to pretend the House majority isn’t legislating at all is to ignore reality altogether.
As regular readers know, those measures followed a series of related votes – House Dems have already passed more than half of their top 10 priorities for this Congress – on bills related to everything from Dreamers to lowering prescription-drug costs to expanding the Violence Against Women Act.
Tomorrow, barring any surprises, House Democrats will pass popular legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
If the president were sincerely interested in finding a congressional chamber that’s “getting nothing done,” he should probably direct his attention to the Republican-led Senate – which has become a “legislative graveyard” this year.
That said, Trump’s jabs are especially relevant because they relate to Democratic leaders’ fears. Pelosi & Co. have passed a flurry of bills, not because they expect them to become law – Republicans control each of the other levers of federal power – but because they’re eager to demonstrate to the public what the party prioritizes and could get done with greater authority.
Dems don’t want to be seen as a party principally focused on attacking the White House – it’s one of the reasons presidential impeachment isn’t yet on the table – which is why they invest so much time and effort into their legislative agenda.
It’s also why Trump will continue to peddle the lie about Democrats legislative record.