If Republicans control the government, why can’t they enact legislation? This question is often asked. The government entities involved are the House, Senate, and Executive Branch (the courts are supposedly nonpartisan). Republicans have majorities in House and Senate, which gives them great power; the President is a Republican. Even so, their power is limited:
- Republicans in the House have a working majority on many matters, but the leadership can’t depend on a majority of Republicans on budget matters and other controversial questions.
- Even though Republicans have a bare majority in the Senate and can count on the Vice President’s vote in case of a tie, Senate rules require sixty votes on most matters.
- President Trump is an unreliable ally.
The GOP was able to pass tax legislation using reconciliation to get it past the Senate; this was a matter where Republicans were sufficiently united. So far they haven’t been able to fund the government because they are divided and because they need sixty votes in the Senate. It doesn’t help them that Presidents Trumps views are inconsistent and unclear.
Tom Reed blames the current impasse on “extremes on both sides of the aisle.” This is false– it is the extreme radical views adopted by Republicans that are the problem. Reed’s solution–bipartisanship–ignores right and wrong. Responsible legislation should be supported by a majority from both parties; spitting the difference between extremes reflects the thinking mocked by King Solomon ages ago.