The first six months of the Trump presidency will go down as the least productive, most tumultuous ever for a unified government. The Republican House, Senate, and White House should be a juggernaut of dystopian productivity. Instead, we’re heading into the August recess with the Senate two weeks earlier than planned, having taken taken precautions to make sure Trump can’t make recess appointments while they’re away. What Republicans have managed to achieve in the past few months has been done without any help from the administration or to actually isolate and hamper Trump.
Among its more notable successes this year, and against Mr. Trump’s objections, Congress passed a tough Russia sanctions bill with a veto-proof majority, which the president begrudgingly signed this week. Congress also approved a law to help veterans get health care—a bipartisan, bicameral, messy but ultimately successful effort that came together with zero involvement from the administration.
Indeed, most of the coming efforts in Congress run counter to what the White House has suggested ought to happen.
On the health care front, many lawmakers are already busy figuring out a way to stabilize the individual health insurance market and to fund the cost-sharing subsidies that Mr. Trump has threatened to end.
In a rebuke not just to Trump but to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as well, Republican chairman are returning to regular order and working with Democrats to set up hearings, including how to fix Obamacare. They’ve ignored Trump’s bullying attempts to force them to stay in D.C. and keep working on repeal. Rank-and-file Republicans are teaming up with Democrats against Trump to make sure he can’t derail special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the web of financial and political ties Trump has in Russia.
This burgeoning war against Trump, Republicans try to insist, is perfectly normal and healthy.