- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 9, 2017

President Trump delivered a Twitter spanking to the Senate’s top Republican Wednesday, questioning why he was unable to wrangle an Obamacare repeal bill.

“Senator Mitch McConnell said I had ‘excessive expectations,’ but I don’t think so,” Mr. Trump said in an afternoon tweet from his New Jersey vacation. “After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?”

Mr. McConnell this week told a Rotary Club in Kentucky that the president came into office with outsized beliefs about what Congress could do, and said it was likely because Mr. Trump was new to national politics.

But Trump defenders say the problem isn’t the president, but rather congressional Republicans’ inability to work out issues.

Mr. McConnell has been at the helm of the Senate GOP for a decade, but most of that time was spent as minority leader, where he was successful in blunting Democrats’ agenda. As majority leader, however, he’s struggled to build majorities to pass big-ticket GOP items.

Mr. McConnell told a Kentucky audience that Mr. Trump had helped fuel unrealistic expectations about what Congress could accomplish by setting “early timelines.” The GOP leader said it was “extremely irritating” to be labeled a failed Congress.

SEE ALSO: Dan Scavino slams McConnell for ‘excuses’ about failure to repeal Obamacare

While the House has passed bills on a number of Mr. Trump’s priorities, including stiff new immigration enforcement and repealing Obamacare, the Senate has been unable to follow through. Some legislation is likely to be blocked by Democrats, but even the Obamacare repeal — which could have passed with only GOP support — failed to clear.

Early Wednesday Mr. Trump’s top social media aide, Dan Scavino Jr., said Mr. McConnell’s complaints about the president as a political novice were “more excuses.”

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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