Last week Republican senators left Washington for the annual August recess, lacking the historic accomplishments many of them had hoped for, CNN reports.
“It’s not good enough. We’ve got to do better,” said Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, of the Senate’s effort so far this year.
Despite the efforts and process that only required assistance from Republicans, Senators still did not find consensus on a plan reconstruct the Affordable Care Act and have not moved on the president’s agenda. Texas Senator Ted Cruz, said Republicans’ priorities consist of health care, tax reform, regulatory reform, and confirming conservative justices to the Supreme Court.
“If we deliver on those four, this could be the most productive congress in decades,” Cruz said. “If we fail on those four, this Congress would be a heartbreaking missed opportunity.”
Republican senators have also worked with the White House and even made changes to Senate rules to get Neil Gorsuch confirmed, but their accord with the White House has not been the best.
President Donald Trump, on the other hand, has not been happy about it.
“Republican Senate must get rid of 60 vote NOW!” said Trump last month in a tweet. “It is killing the R Party, allows 8 Dems to control country. 200 Bills sit in Senate. A JOKE!”
Senators have been realizing slowly that they may have to be more self-reliant if they’re going to pass a comprehensive legislative agenda, a result of an atmosphere created due to constant leaks about the Russia probe, staff discord at the White House and Trump’s posts on health care.
“We’re getting used to each other,” said Senator John Thune. “A lot of our members have never had a Republican administration. This is a President, obviously, who’s never had to work with Congress. I just think there are some growing pains that come with that, but things we can work through.”
The full agenda will be waiting for the Congress when it returns in September. The debt ceiling will have to be raised to keep funding the government and revive the flood insurance program of the country. They will also have to stabilize the health care system, with most lawmakers now realizing they will require Democratic support. And, lawmakers are expected to turn again to try and get Trump a win on tax reform.