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Republicans are losing faith in Trump's negotiating ability

Key GOP senators no longer trust the author of the "Art of the Deal" to make anything happen on Capitol Hill


Taylor Link
October 23, 2017 6:21PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump approaches the tax cut debate will little capital.

The former real estate mogul has failed to oversee the passage of any significant legislation in his first 10 months in office, and he has laid most of the blame on Republicans in the Senate for failing to get the job done.

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That hasn't played well with some in the GOP establishment.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump is not seen as trustworthy or attentive enough to negotiate a bill that Republicans can sell to the American people. This became most apparent after Trump mangled the bi-partisan compromise on the ACA last week.

Trump initially said he would support the bipartisan fix negotiated by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democrat Sen. Patty Murray of Washington after Republicans failed in their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“There was a lot of momentum building for Lamar’s effort, until the president changed his mind after encouraging him twice to move ahead,” Sen. Bob Corker said, The Post's Philip Rucker, Sean Sullivan and Paul Kane reported. “You know, who knows where he’ll be? Maybe where he is this very second?”

Corker said that some members of Congress needed “the patience of Job” to negotiate with Trump, alluding to the biblical prophet who had his faith tested by curses.

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Other Republicans pointed to the president's amateurism in politics to explain his inability to get a handle on his job.

“He’s a guy who, you know, comes from the business world and he’s in a hurry to get things done,” Sen. John Thune, said. “Around here, that’s hard. You know, things take a while. So it’s a process — and sometimes, kind of a slow and painful one.”

Yet others who have met with Trump have only been dealt misinformation from the Trump administration.

“I’ve met with the president’s people four or five times now, and they’ve told me, no, this really is going to be a middle-class tax cut,” Democrat Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, a state heavily carried by Trump during the last election, told  The Post. Ten days later, however, Heitkamp complained that the tax plan was still hidden.

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“I still don’t know what it is,” she said.


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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Bob Corker Congress Donald Trump John Thune Republican Party Tax Reform Trump Administration

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