GOP-led Congress hobbles president


If you were not able to turn away from the White House’s constant stream of chaos and madness during the last week of July, you were not alone.

But you would have missed an interesting development not carried in the headlines.

Both houses of Congress hobbled President Trump, and it may be a sign — just maybe — Republicans are beginning to wake up.

The spectacular rise and fall of Anthony Scaramucci will be one for the record books, and fodder for the tabloids and late-night comedy shows for the summer. That flame-out was so bright, it overshadowed the removal of Reince Priebus as chief of staff, and the installation of his replacement, Gen. John Kelly from Homeland Security.

Among other notable events that screamed for attention that week were the collapse of the Obamacare repeal effort, and Trump’s ban on “transgenders” serving in the military.

If that wasn’t enough for one week, simultaneously, Trump was battering and shaming his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and openly discussed firing special counsel Robert Mueller, who is expanding his probe into Trump’s business empire, as well as the president’s 2016 campaign. 

However, both of these issues must have hit a chord of, “Wait a minute, this is going too far.”

Several notable Republican senators publicly rebuked the president’s actions and his stated intentions. For example, judiciary chair Sen. Chuck Grassley sent a message in a tweet that there is no time to confirm a new attorney general. Sen. Lindsey Graham from South Carolina went further by stating, “Any attempt to go after Mueller would be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency.”

Personally, I thought President Trump already was on that slippery slope.

What was buried under the cacophony of all this noise, however, was the veto-proof majority of both houses passing legislation to impose sanctions on Russia. The president had been eyeing to unilaterally remove them. In this case, Trump is backed into a corner with his hands tied. 

But maybe it’s too soon to declare “the emperor has no clothes.”

Derickson Lawrence

The author unsuccessfully ran for the 16th Congressional district seat in 2016, currently held by Eliot Engel.