- - Thursday, August 24, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The pressure is on, and the battle is about to begin in the halls of Congress.

The electoral fate of Republicans may very well be decided this fall. If they once again show themselves as unable to accomplish President Trump’s legislative agenda, they will lose the confidence of the American people in the midterm elections.

The stakes are high, and Mr. Trump has grown increasingly frustrated with the slow-moving Congress and its inability to put personal battles aside and work together.

The GOP has so far squandered its opportunity to make significant changes in health care, a mistake that must not be repeated on the issue of tax reform.

Mr. Trump, via multiple tweets, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, at press briefings, have made public their frustrations with one another. Are these sibling fights where they make up after the first punch, or are these deeper wounds between the GOP establishment and the president?

The grass roots appears to be standing with Mr. Trump and are keeping a watchful eye on who in the GOP refuses to help the president.

But both Mr. Trump and GOP leaders best beware of turning on each other. The president has an obligation to put pressure on Congress to get his priorities accomplished. Mr. McConnell must rein in obstructionists who campaigned on repealing Obamacare but torpedoed efforts to do that.

The weakness of the GOP has been its inability to unite, a process that requires various factions to only get some of what they want. It will be key for Republican lawmakers in both chambers to find common ground and collaborate not only with themselves but with the moderate Democrats who could break from their party’s rush to the far left.

The challenge of creating a functional Washington is tough, if not impossible, and GOP obstructionists acting like “Resistance” movement Democrats isn’t helping.

Unfortunately, when Republican senators such as Arizona’s Jeff Flake spend their time criticizing the president to promote a book, it fails to help the legislative agenda. If these obstructionist GOP members feel so appalled by the president, then they may need to re-evaluate why they are in Congress in the first place.

Even though Mr. Trump just got elected, this fall may be the last chance for Republicans to prove that they can govern and produce results.

As senior presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway tweeted, “POTUS remains ready to sign into law meaningful, consequential tax reform & health care reform that Republicans have run on successfully.”

Now it’s time for action to prove to the American people that real tax reform can be accomplished and that somehow Washington can function.

Mercedes Schlapp is a Fox News contributor, co-founder of Cove Strategies and former White House director of specialty media under President George W. Bush.

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