In Part I we explained why President Trump has not received any legislation:
To Wit: President Donald Trump winning the election threw a monkey wrench into the entire DC system…. The modern legislative machine is frozen in place.
The “America First” policies represented by candidate Donald Trump are not within the legislative constructs coming from the authors of the legislation. Congress has no bills to advance because all of the myriad of bills and briefs written are not in line with President Trump policy.
That’s why congress has not passed any legislation for President Trump to sign.
There’s no entity within DC writing legislation that is in-line with President Trump’s economic and foreign policy agenda. Exactly the opposite is true. All of the DC pipeline legislative briefs and constructs are antithetical to Trump policy.
There are almost zero organizational entities within K-Street presenting any legislative constructs or legislative briefs intended to advance any of Trump’s policy objectives.
Think about how much money is behind the legislative business when those who control the legislation are willing to spend $3.1 BILLION in a single year to achieve their needs.
♦The “Associated American Southern Border Wall and Security Builders” – special interest and lobbying group – simply doesn’t exist. Nor are there any entities creating legal briefs (bills) to facilitate the southern border wall construction.
♦There is no “Associated Illegal Immigrant and Deportation Enforcement” group lobbying for the removal of undocumented illegal aliens; or writing legislation to fast-track deportation of illegal aliens.
♦There’s also no official corporate political action committee or group office on K-Street creating legislation to repeal ObamaCare, or lobby for the removal of government interventionism into the healthcare system. etc.
The DC legislative pipeline is devoid of any bill, brief or construct for any of the platform priorities of the Trump administration. Quite the opposite is true. Almost all of the K-Street institutions -which create the legislative priorities- are capable of producing a product that flows in one direction.
This reality is the epicenter of the UniParty problem.
Voters can demand change and switch the House of Representatives from Democrat to Republican control, but politicians don’t actually write legislation. The legislative product coming through the system remains the same regardless of which party is in control of the House of Representatives.
Voters can go further and change out the Senate from Democrat to Republican control; but again, you find little difference because the legislative product hasn’t changed. K-Street may (usually they don’t) modify the special interest ingredients a little – but the progressive sausage is still a progressive sausage; it’s not a hamburger.
Voters go one step further and change the Executive Branch away from progressive control. However, there again, the legislative product has not changed. The DC system is creating the same ideological product regardless of the dynamic of party affiliated politics.
The problem in 2017 is systemic because there’s no counter-balancing legislative or lobbying enterprise within the epicenter of the DC Swamp, K-Street. There’s virtually no alternative legislative product being generated which would coincide with the change in representative political ideology.
This UniParty system is why Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell voted to fund and approve every one of President Obama’s priorities. Omnibus, Bailouts, Porkulous, DACA, Healthcare Exhanges, Stimulus etc. are the only game in town with support – there simply are no alternatives being pushed by interest groups.
Yes, there are a few modestly sized groups like Heritage Foundation who can generate alternate legislative products and some advertizing. But for every one of them there’s a hundred going in the other direction.
When you think about it, it simply makes sense. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Why would there be an organizational entity inside the system whose primary purpose would be to spend money in order to generate less spending or smaller government? They would essentially be advocating against their own interests.
Remember the grand fiasco that was the 2013/2014 Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill (Gang-of-Eight)?
That Go8 bill was an outcome of the same lobbying process, same K-Street legislative construct etc. The controversial bill was not majority supported outside the beltway. Despite the electorate lack of support it passed the Senate and Speaker Boehner, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy were only two days from a vote in the House when Cantor was primaried.
When ObamaCare was passed on December 23rd at 1:38am a full 70% of the country when polled did not support it. But the DC lobbying and legislative system created it and found a way to get it passed.
Jump to 2017 – President Trump takes over the White House in January, and there’s really no Pro-Trump legislative product from congress because there’s no Pro-Trump legislative construct coming from the people who write legislation, K-Street.
The only special interest group that President Trump advocating for him are the voters.
The DC swamp (writ large) is a singular organism with multiple visible components that seem disconnected; but in direction or pathway they are not dissimilar. Under the visible surface the UniParty roots are all intertwined and connected around principles of self-sustaining common interest. Their commonality lies in growth of government.
President Trump’s fiscal and economic policies are adverse to those UniParty interests. President Trump’s first full-year budget proposal was a trillion dollar reduction in spending. As a consequence the combined weight of all visible DC interests immediately aligned toward diminishment of the proposal.
Within the DC Swamp the flow of legislative interest travels in only one direction. Albeit there are multiple organizations able to construct legislation for sale; the direction of the product they are producing is going in one progressive direction.
There are no K-Street lobbyists demanding smaller/lesser government. There are no lobbyists walking in to House and Senate offices and asking for representatives to spend less money. The only people doing that are voters. How do reps generally deal with those annoyances? They turn off the phone, disconnect the fax machine and ignore the emails.
Accepting the reality of who controls legislative constructs also helps to understand why those same entities will not allow prior legislative accomplishments to be undone. Modern K-Street considers prior legislation ‘paid-for investments‘, they will not allow removal.
♦Retention of ObamaCare. ♦Deep Federal Spending. ♦NO border wall. ♦Open-ended immigration until congress delivers comprehensive immigration reform to include amnesty. ♦Tax Cuts (corporate revenue enhancements) are permitted.
They did however suffer defeats on legislation that had not yet passed, but were prepped for Hillary Clinton, like: Trans-Pacific-Trade (TPP) and Common Core federalization of education.
So the next obvious question is: what can be done about it?
The only viable solution, under the current system in place, is for the Trump Administration to generate their own legislative product to deliver to congress for passage. It sounds weird, but essentially that appears to be what is taking place right now with the White House staffing up with their own groups of bill authors, constructionists and administration lobbyists.
President Trump’s team will create the legislative product, and hopefully the republican controlled house and senate will pass it.
However, even this process also runs head first into the positions of the UniParty.
Example: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross sends theSenate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation a statutorily required “letter of intent” to renegotiate NAFTA (North American Free Trade Association) mid-March, and the Republican Committee Chairman John Thune doesn’t accept it. (Today is 4/28/17).
Now what? The GOP wing of the UniParty is beholden to lobbying interests (U.S. CoC) who are adverse to NAFTA renegotiation. See who is on the committee HERE.
This example is not even a legislative product that needs a vote. This example is simply a statutorily required notification that requires being accepted. What do you think would be the outcome if Senator McConnell was given a legislative product containing similar pre-paid lobbying conflicts for his membership?
This reality also helps to explain the frustration from the White House when they do have a legislative product that moves the needle (ie. healthcare), road-mapped primarily by HHS Secretary Tom Price, and yet the House of Reps can’t even bring it to a vote.
The Freedom Caucus can wax philosophically about the Price/Ryan bill not being a full repeal; and they can argue accurately about the bill having flaws remaining from the influence of the ObamaCare lobbyists, but what is the actual alternative? Nothing.
Nothing is not an option.
The White House paying for their own staff to hire outside people to write legislation because congress doesn’t have an ideological enterprise to create their own is what has lead to this ridiculous situation we are in right now.
This DC quagmire might improve over time as new enterprises (legislation builders) move into DC to do work with a more favorable ideological outlook in-line with the new administration. But in the interim nothing is getting done, the simple tasks of budgets are at loggerheads, and time is wasting.
Fortunately for congress, right now foreign policy is taking up a lot of intellectual and administrative energy. The current domestic economic policy outcomes are being driven by the executive office alone without congress having to do any work.
However, understandably, President Trump is not going to sit and wait for congress to evolve in their ability to turn away from existing lobbyists hanging around to defend their interests. Sooner or later President Trump is going to do something dramatic to break the impasse within the broken legislative system.
Considering that Trump is not a politician, that “something” could get rather ugly.