Trump struggled with health care in Congress, but still hopes to pass a bill
The next three months will test whether Trump has learned from his mistakes in the first 100 days
President Donald Trump will spend his next 100 days trying to get things done that he once confidently predicted he would accomplish in his first 100 days in office.
The White House spent last week fending off unflattering critiques of Trump’s first three months in the Oval Office, claiming he had racked up great achievements while also dismissing what it sees as an artificial milestone.
But the experience of the first 100 days has shown the enormity of the challenge Trump faces in enacting his proposed policies amid partisan acrimony in Washington, where Democratic opposition is determined to thwart him and Republican infighting persists.
The looming political fights of the next three months will test whether Trump has learned from his mistakes in the first 100 days and can find a way to exert his will over Congress.
Abroad, the President faces several deepening crises, most immediately the showdown with North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.
The next 100 days will also see him venture overseas for the first time as President, and may begin to reveal exactly what he means when he talks about an “America First” foreign policy. Meanwhile, the world is watching to see whether Trump pulls America out of the Paris climate accord – a decision that is expected within the next several weeks.
Trump geared up for the next chapter of his presidency on Saturday night, surrounding himself with adoring supporters in Pennsylvania, and conjuring up the spirit and fury of his 2016 election campaign, by bashing Washington elites and the media.
“Their priorities are not my priorities and not your priorities,” Trump told the crowd in Harrisburg. “If the media’s job is to be honest and tell the truth, the media deserves a very, very big, fat, failing grade.”
The remarks were a clear sign that the President intends to leverage the support of his loyal political base against the Washington establishment in an effort to kickstart his stalled agenda. There does not seem to be any imminent plan being developed to reach out to his critics and broaden his appeal.
The President’s most immediate problem is over Obamacare: He must find a way to pilot the repeal bill, which remains in limbo, neither alive, nor dead, through the House of Representatives. The failure to realize his number one campaign promise during the first 100 days dealt a humiliating blow to Trump and raised questions about his presidential authority.
The White House has repeatedly predicted in recent days that a vote on the legislation is imminent, but continued wrangling between conservatives and Republican moderates on the bill is delaying its passage.
But the House vote will only be the first hurdle for the bill, with the Senate expected to fundamentally change the legislation which Trump says must cut premiums and broaden access, but which a Congressional Budget Office report found would deprive millions of people of coverage. And even if the White House can record a political win by passing the bill, Trump will likely be saddled with the blame if Americans come to believe that the new disruption in the health care industry costs them money or access to insurance.
Fighting the Republican Congress
The health care fight has revealed an unexpected characteristic of Trump’s Washington. Primary opposition to the President has not come from Democrats, who were expected to form a road block to the White House, but from his own party. And unless Trump can find a way to mobilize the Republican monopoly on power on Capitol Hill, the next 100 days could be as barren as his first 100 in terms of significant legislation.
“I think the rules in Congress, and in particular the rules in the Senate, are unbelievably archaic and slow-moving and, in many cases, unfair,” Trump said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“In many cases, you’re forced to make deals that are not the deal you’d make. You’d make a much different kind of a deal. You’re forced into situations that you hate to be forced into.”
He made sure, however, to praise Hill Republicans, telling C