Trump And Wary Republicans Head For The Fall

Questions abound as lawmakers return to Washington from their August recess with a full plate of must-pass bills and numerous campaign promises that remain to be fulfilled. But the most pressing may be: Can the marriage between President Trump and congressional Republicans be saved?

Voters arranged a shotgun wedding between them by giving them control of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. But unified government has proven to be anything but united. The White House and its putative Capitol Hill allies have pointed fingers at each other over their stalled agenda. The honeymoon, if there ever was one, is over.

Trump has also shown no hesitation piling on new items to the crowded legislative to-do list. He has threatened a government shutdown if Congress fails to fund the border wall, implying he would veto a spending bill passed by Republican lawmakers if they did not comply with his wishes. Democrats and a surprising number of border-state Republicans are balking at this request.

"On a couple of items, they are going to have to deliver and they know it," said Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist. "Debt ceiling, hurricane relief funding." The border wall will be tougher. "You don't want a shutdown with Harvey," he added.

Read more from W. James Antle III at the Washington Examiner

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