Democrats Return To A Battered Trump

President Trump is emerging from a turbulent August with a new problem: Capitol Hill Democrats are about to be back in town.

The Democrats have vowed to unleash new fronts in their investigations of Trump and heap pressure on the White House and Republicans to tackle gun legislation this fall in response to a new series of mass shootings. 

On Friday, two House committees sent inquiries to the White House about administration officials’ use of taxpayer money at Trump properties, after Vice President Pence was forced to defend a stay at a Trump property in Ireland during an official trip there. 

Congress is returning to do battle with a weakened Trump, who entered the August recess from a point of strength but has been battered by weeks of bruising headlines.

GOP strategist Ford O’Connell said that the controversies individually aren’t major but that they as a whole detract from the White House’s messaging on low jobless claims and economic growth. Trump, he argued, needs to be wary of distracting from his accomplishments ahead of the 2020 election with “tweets from left field.” 

“This is a lesson for the White House,” O’Connell said. “Part of that can be chucked up to the doldrums of summer, but they need to be really focused.” 

Trump’s attention moving into the fall is likely to be increasingly focused on 2020 and his reelection bid.

Allies of the administration and former officials point to the push for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement as the main legislative focus for the remainder of the year, but there is uncertainty around whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will bring it up for a vote. 

“The White House is going to go all in on this,” said O’Connell. “By not passing this, you’re rooting for the recession. You’re rooting to hurt the American worker.” 

Read more from Morgan Chalfant and Brett Samuels at The Hill

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published this page in In The News 2019-09-09 09:23:07 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy