clear
Saturday July 22nd, 2017 10:47PM

GOP voters blame Congress, not Trump, for lack of progress

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — In firm control of the federal government, President Donald Trump and his Republican Party have so far failed to deliver on core campaign promises on health care, taxes and infrastructure. But in New York's Trump Tower cafe, the Gentry family blames Congress, not the president.

Like many Trump voters across America, the Alabama couple, vacationing last week with their three children, says they are deeply frustrated with the president's GOP allies, faulting them for derailing Trump's plans. As the family of five lunched in Trump Tower, Sheila Gentry offered a pointed message to those concerned with the GOP's ability to govern five months into the Trump presidency.

"Shut up. Get on board. And let's give President Trump the benefit of the doubt. It takes a while," said the 46-year-old nursing educator from Section, Alabama.

"They just need a good whoopin'," said her husband, Travis Gentry, a 48-year-old engineer, likening congressional infighting to unruly kids in the back seat of the car.

As Washington Republicans decry Trump's latest round of Twitter attacks, Republicans on the ground from New York to Louisiana to Iowa continue to stand by the president and his unorthodox leadership style. For now at least, rank-and-file Republicans are far more willing to blame the GOP-led Congress for their party's lack of progress, sending an early warning sign as the GOP looks to preserve its House and Senate majorities in next year's midterm elections.

Inside and outside the Beltway surrounding the nation's capital, Republicans worry their party could pay a steep political price unless they show significant progress on their years-long promise to repeal and replace Democrat Barack Obama's health care law. Even more disturbing, some say, is the Republican Party's nascent struggle to overhaul the nation's tax system, never mind Trump's unfulfilled vows to repair roads and bridges across America and build a massive border wall.

"It's a problem for Republicans, who were put in place to fix this stuff. If you can't fix it, I need someone who can," said Ernie Rudolph, a 72-year-old cybersecurity executive from suburban Des Moines, Iowa.

There is no easy path forward for the Republican Party.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts that health care legislation backed by House and Senate Republican leaders — and favored by Trump — would ultimately leave more than 20 million additional Americans without health care, while enacting deep cuts to Medicaid and other programs that address the opioid epidemic. In some cases, the plans would most hurt Trump's most passionate supporters.

Just 17 percent of Americans support the Senate's health care plan, according to a poll released last week, making it one of the least popular major legislative proposals in history.

The president on Friday injected new uncertainty into the debate by urging congressional Republicans simply to repeal Obama's health care law "immediately" while crafting a replacement plan later, which would leave tens of millions of Americans without health care with no clear solution.

That shift came a day after several Republicans in Congress condemned Trump's personal Twitter attack against MSNBC hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, which was viewed across Washington as an unwanted distraction in the midst of a sensitive policy debate.

Trump's nationwide approval rating hovered below 40 percent in Gallup's weekly tracking survey, even before the tweet. At the same time, just one in four voters approve of Republicans in Congress, Quinnipiac University found.

Democrats, meanwhile, report sustained energy on the ground in swing districts where Republicans face tough re-election challenges. Democrats need to flip 24 seats to win the House majority next fall, a goal that operatives in both parties see as increasingly possible as the GOP struggles to govern.

A former Obama administration national security aide, Andy Kim, is among a large class of fresh Democratic recruits.

"People are fired up," said Kim, who's challenging Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J. "It's not just about the health care bill. It's not just about Trump. ... They're concerned about the ability of this government to put together any credible legislation going forward."

Republicans are also concerned.

In Iowa's Adair County, GOP Chairman Ryan Frederick fears that Republican voters will begin to lose confidence in their party's plans for taxes, infrastructure and immigration should the health care overhaul fail.

"Everyone I know looks at trying to get Obamacare repealed and says, 'If we're making this much of a pig's breakfast out of that, what are we going to do with tax reform?'" Frederick said.

"We've dreamed of killing Obamacare for seven years. And we have the House, the Senate and the presidency, and we can't do it?" he continued. "What's the deal, guys?"

Louisiana Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere bemoans "factionalism" in his party. Intraparty divisions are holding up health care, he says, which in turn keeps the GOP-led government from tackling other priorities.

He's looking to Trump for leadership.

"He's the ultimate negotiator," Villere said. "We'll see how good he is."

Back in Trump Tower, Sheila Gentry conceded that Trump's tweets sometimes make her cringe, but she still has confidence in her president. She can't say the same for congressional Republicans.

"The Republicans who are in there now that aren't being very supportive, they're going to find themselves without a job soon if they don't step it up," she said.

___

Associated Press writers Bill Barrow in Atlanta and Julie Carr Smyth in Columbus, Ohio contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General House Election News, AP Business
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
White House: Trump backs repeal-only health bill as 'option'
President Donald Trump is pressuring wavering senators to back a Republican bill to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's health care law
3:39AM ( 6 minutes ago )
IS women suicide bombers hit Iraqi troops in Mosul, kill 1
Iraqi officer: 2 women suicide bombers hiding among fleeing civilians target Iraqi troops in Mosul, killing soldier
3:37AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Trump White House still lacks a website for Spanish speakers
Trump White House lacks a website for Spanish speakers, operates a Twitter account heavy with English text and some sloppy translations
3:33AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Arab nations extend deadline in Qatar crisis by 48 hours
Arab nations in dispute with Qatar extend their deadline to Doha by 48 hours, after request by Kuwait's emir
1:20AM ( 2 hours ago )
Suspect in Illinois kidnap case to make 1st court appearance
A 28-year-old will make his initial court appearance on a charge of kidnapping a visiting University of Illinois scholar from China who authorities believe to be dead
1:10AM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump speaks with leaders of Japan, China about NKorea
The White House says President Donald Trump has spoken with the leaders of China and Japan and reaffirmed their shared commitments to dealing with North Korea
1:06AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Rapper arrested on unrelated charge after Arkansas shooting
Authorities say a rapper whose concert in Little Rock became the site of a shooting that left 28 people injured was arrested early Sunday on unrelated charges and that several weapons were seized
11:47PM ( 3 hours ago )
Some Republicans defy Gov. Rauner and back tax increases
The Illinois House approved a $5 billion income tax increase Sunday, but the governor promised to veto it.
11:29PM ( 4 hours ago )
Trump tweets mock video showing him beating man labeled CNN
Trump tweets mock video showing him pummeling a man labeled CNN, draws criticism
10:40PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online National News
US ship sails near disputed island, raising China's hackles
A U.S. Navy destroyer in the South China Sea has sailed near a tiny island disputed by three Asian governments as part of an operation affirming the right to passage
1:53AM ( 1 hour ago )
California marchers call for impeachment of President Trump
Demonstrators hoisting signs and chanting anti-Donald Trump slogans marched through downtown Los Angeles to urge Congress to impeach the president
7:35PM ( 8 hours ago )
Media organizations criticize Trump for tweeted video
It's his latest media jab, and President Donald Trump is drawing swift criticism from the press
5:31PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Illinois House leader: Revenue vote now set for weekend
The speaker of the Illinois House scheduled a key vote Saturday on a multibillion-dollar revenue package that would finance an end to the longest state budget crisis since at least the Great Depression
7:12PM ( 1 day ago )
Prices rise, partitions fall under new Utah liquor law
Wine, liquor and higher-alcohol beer are becoming more expensive in Utah under a new law that takes effect Saturday
4:58PM ( 1 day ago )
Trump jumps into health debate _ repeal now, replace later
Trump jumps into health care fray to encourage Senate Republicans to repeal Obama-era health law now, worry about a replacement later
1:06PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Congress News
Trump voting commission will get limited state voter data
One fifth of the states are refusing to comply with a Trump commission request for detailed voter data that includes voting histories and partial Social Security numbers, and most other states say they can only partially comply
12:23AM ( 2 days ago )
California politicians' gun control moves hit by 2 setbacks
California politicians' attempts to strengthen some of the nation's strictest gun laws took two blows this week
6:41PM ( 2 days ago )
GOP bill would let churches endorse political candidates
House Republicans says churches should have the right to endorse political candidates and still keep their tax-free status
4:57PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Elections
Panels demand billions more for defense than Trump requested
The GOP-controlled Congress has seized the lead on one of President Donald Trump's key campaign promises, pressing for tens of billions of dollars more for active-duty troops, combat aircraft, and ships that he didn't request
11:52AM ( 3 days ago )
After delay, California congressman to be sworn in July 11
California U.S. Rep.-elect Jimmy Gomez is expected to finally join fellow Democrats in Washington on July 11, five weeks after he won his seat
5:23PM ( 4 days ago )
The Latest: UK leader tries to ease anxiety over Brexit
British Prime Minister Theresa May has provided additional details for proposed treatment of European Union citizens living in Britain once Brexit takes effect
9:55AM ( 6 days ago )
General House Election News
Old dogs, new blimps: Goodyear pilots need to be retrained
The Goodyear Tire company is training pilots of its iconic blimps to fly new airships in northeast Ohio
1:55AM ( 1 hour ago )
Asian stocks mixed after Wall Street gains
Asian stocks are mixed after a survey showed Japanese manufacturers believe business conditions are improving
1:47AM ( 1 hour ago )
China widens investor access as bond trading link launches
China-Hong Kong bond trading link launches, giving global investors wider access to financial markets
12:15AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
White House: Trump backs repeal-only health bill as 'option'
President Donald Trump is pressuring wavering senators to back a Republican bill to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's health care law
3:39AM ( 7 minutes ago )
IS women suicide bombers hit Iraqi troops in Mosul, kill 1
Iraqi officer: 2 women suicide bombers hiding among fleeing civilians target Iraqi troops in Mosul, killing soldier
3:37AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Trump White House still lacks a website for Spanish speakers
Trump White House lacks a website for Spanish speakers, operates a Twitter account heavy with English text and some sloppy translations
3:33AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Forecaster says budget cuts could hurt hurricane predictions
Retiring chief of hurricane specialist team at the National Hurricane Center in Miami: Further cuts to tropical weather research will undermine recent improvements in hurricane intensity forecasts
3:25AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Trump tweets mock video of him beating CNN, sparks criticism
Trump tweets mock video showing him beating on CNN, sparks charges of behavior beneath the presidency
3:19AM ( 27 minutes ago )