OPINION | Barry Richard: Hey Congress, Get Back to Work!
President Donald Trump and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are locked in an increasingly bitter, public dispute over the progress (or the lack thereof) on advancing Trump's agenda.
Trump was elected last Fall by the so-called forgotten men and women of middle America because he promised to address the problems most impacting their lives. Taxes, healthcare, jobs, immigration. Those are just a few of the issues Trump pledged to tackle on "day one" if elected. Trump, a Republican, like most of his supporters fully expected the Congress, now controlled by Republicans to hit the ground running and quickly rifle through that agenda at a record pace. It hasn't happened.
For eight long years under Democrat Barrack Obama, Republicans could only dream of the day that they would have a majority in Congress and The White House too. Oh, what they could accomplish. Turns out the Grand Old Party was full of bluster and hot air. Their bluff has been called and they are holding nothing more than a lowly pair of deuces. They have no plan. They can't even get along with each other in the sandbox.
President Trump is right to be disappointed and angry. And so are you. With failed attempt after failed attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, a popular rallying cry during the election cycle, Majority leader McConnell has been unable to deliver the goods. The agenda is stalled and Congress is in recess. Nothing has been accomplished after seven months.
Earlier this week McConnell said Trump's lack of political experience has led him to set "excessive expectations" for his legislative priorities;
"Part of the reason I think that the storyline is that we haven't done much is because, in part, the president and others have set these early timelines about things need to be done by a certain point."
McConnell says he finds it "extremely irritating" that Congress has earned the reputation of not accomplishing much.
Trump responded this morning by tweeting;
"Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal and Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing. You can do it!"
As to whether McConnell ought to be replaced as Majority Leader Trump told reporters in New Jersey this morning;
"If he doesn't get repeal and replace done, and if he doesn't get taxes done, meaning cuts and reform, and if he doesn't get a very easy one to get done, infrastructure, if he doesn't get them done, then you can ask me that question."
We, "the forgotten ones", are sick and tired of lame excuses. McConnell could not ask for a better scenario for passing the mounds of legislation Republicans have claimed to support for years.
When the midterm elections are held next year it is Republicans, not Democrats who will pay the price. As sad as it is, no one expected the Democrats to do a whole lot under Trump. Hell, they have their hands full just trying to remain relevant. It is the Republicans who refuse to deliver on the promises they made in order to get elected.
A message to ALL members of Congress, including our do nothing delegation; get back to work, get something done and put the people's agenda ahead of your own or pay the price at the polls.
We're sick and tired of excuses and inaction in Washington.
Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.