David A. Bateman, an expert in American political development, political parties and ideology and assistant professor of government at Cornell University, says that President Trump has compounded problems for congressional Republicans by agreeing to a bipartisan deal on the debt ceiling with Democratic leaders.
“Trump put Republicans in a difficult position with DACA repeal; he has now compounded it by agreeing to the Democrats’ plan for the debt ceiling. When Trump passed the DACA buck to Congress, the best option for congressional Republicans was to pass the buck to congressional Democrats.
“As the steward of his caucus, Paul Ryan could have brought up a legislative fix – now the top priority of Democrats – only if it were attached to GOP priorities. In that case, it is unclear what Democrats would do: Any substantial concession, on a border wall, taxes or appropriations, would be dispiriting for their base and reward the president’s cynical abuse of authority; but opposition would allow the GOP to cast Democratic intransigence as responsible for the unfolding moral catastrophe.
“Trump the buck-passer has now made GOP buck passing much more difficult. The problem for congressional Republicans is that they have a series of must-pass bills that give the Democrats leverage. By agreeing to a three-month deal, rather than the eighteen-month plan desired by Ryan and McConnell, Democrats get to flip the GOP’s script: It will now be Pelosi and Schumer attaching DACA to the GOP’s must-pass legislation – forcing a shutdown or a showdown on the debt ceiling unless these re-authorize DACA – rather than the other way around.
“This not only puts the onus back on the GOP, but it eats up the most precious legislative commodity, time. Still, while the political responsibility is now on Congress, the moral culpability is Trump’s alone.”
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