The House is mad at the Senate. The Senate is mad at the House. Various factions in the House and Senate are mad at each other or mad at their leaders.
Republican lawmakers have yet to turn on President Trump in any meaningful way. But they’re starting to turn on each other.
On Monday, the Republicans’ tortured health-care effort hit a seemingly permanent snag. But that was only the latest blow; after half a year of consolidated GOP control, not a single major piece of legislation has been enacted. With other priorities similarly stalled, legislators’ frustration is mounting.
“We’re in charge, right? We have the House, the Senate, and the White House,” one GOP member of Congress told me. “Everyone’s still committed to making progress on big issues, but the more time goes by, the more difficult that becomes. And then the blame game starts.”
The House blames the Senate: At a press conference last week, Kevin McCarthy, the majority leader, waved a chart of 226 House-passed bills that the Senate hasn’t taken up. “We will continue to do our work here, and we hope the Senate continues to do their work as we move forward,” McCarthy said pointedly.
Some new members blame their elders. A freshman congressman from Michigan, Paul Mitchell, got a dozen of his fellow newbies to co-sign an op-ed that urges the Senate to get moving, implicitly calling out their senior colleagues for forgetting what they were sent to Washington to do. “Failure to do so is a failure to follow the will of our voters,” the freshmen wrote in their article published Tuesday.