Trump's Window For Legislative Achievement Is Closing

With Republican losses in the midterm elections looming, the window of opportunity for President Trump to pursue his agenda in Congress may be closing.

That could push Trump into a new phase of his presidency — one that would require him to explore the limits of his executive authority and look outside the U.S. for major achievements.

And if his party does see its House majority eroded, Trump could find himself facing the same kind of fierce congressional opposition that dogged his predecessor after 2010.

“The clock is running out on Trump in terms of getting legislation passed,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist. “If the Republicans don’t hold the House, a lot of the Trump agenda that has to be installed through legislation will be delayed.”

Trump could still make inroads on some of his proposals even without unified GOP control of government, O’Connell noted.

“It doesn’t mean that the entire Trump agenda is stalled because he’s going to have to take a page out of Barack Obama’s book by … seeing what issues, like infrastructure and immigration, that he can accomplish through executive actions,” O’Connell said.

Republicans were already bracing to lose ground in the midterm elections before House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., announced last week that he would not return to Washington for another term.

If he loses the ability to secure legislative victories after November, Trump may turn his attention more toward his diplomatic and national security agenda, where Congress has little say.

“Going in, foreign policy was a big knock against Trump, but it’s something that he’s handled quite well despite what the media is saying,” O’Connell noted.

Read more from Sarah Westwood at the Washington Examiner

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Analysis & Political Strategy