You knew it was coming eventually, after the Republican Congress failed to deliver Donald Trump the personal victory he so desperately needed on health care. You knew it was coming soon, after Trump fired Republican Party loyalist Reince Priebus as his Chief of Staff. And now it’s arrived: with a single and surprisingly understated tweet this afternoon, Trump has declared war on the entire Republican Congress.
Trump spent the morning ranting about how the Senate should change the rules to eliminate the filibuster so that no more than 51 votes are ever needed to pass any type of legislation. But this was a smokescreen and no one was buying it. By now everyone on all sides is well aware that Trump was only able to garner a mere 48 votes for his latest subpar TrumpCare bill, even though his party has 51 seats in the Senate. And so by this afternoon, Trump fired off a threat aimed directly at the Republicans in Congress.
Trump tweeted “If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” (link). The first half of that is a rather transparent threat to sabotage the insurance companies and thus take health care away from as many Americans as possible, in retaliation for his own health care bill’s failure. But the second half of that tweet was a threat to sabotage members of Congress and harm the states they represent, in an attempt at costing them their jobs.
By default, this threat is aimed at the Republicans in Congress. They’re the ones who, despite having a majority, are failing to fall in line with his untenable ideas and unworkable legislation. And by “bailouts for Members of Congress” it’s clear that Trump is threatening to cut off funding for anything that his fellow Republicans hold dear. He already tried it earlier this week when he tried to sabotage Alaska’s funding to punish Senator Lisa Murkowski. Now he’s vowing more of those tactics. Trump’s war with the Republican Congress is likely to leave neither of them standing.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report