When Donald Trump takes office as a Republican president, he will have to work with a Republican Congress — some of which openly distanced themselves from him prior to his election. And the Republican Party virtually abandoned him in the weeks prior to the election.
President-elect Trump owes them nothing.
John Shadegg was a member of Newt Gingrich’s leadership of the House of Representatives when the Republicans gained control of the House. While out of office now, he has a unique insight into the workings of the Republican Party and how events are likely to unfold given this unique dynamic.
While the Republicans will maintain clear control over both houses of Congress, President-elect Trump has signaled major policy differences from Republican orthodoxy in most major policy areas:
- The Republican Party has traditionally favored an interventionist foreign policy. Trump has signaled a withdrawal from foreign military commitments. He also has signaled a rapprochement with Russia that has incensed the neocons within the Republican foreign policy establishment.
- Trump has proposed a trillion-dollar infrastructure investment, an approach strongly favored by Democrats and violently opposed by Republicans.
- When we juxtapose the infrastructure spending with a huge tax cut (mostly for the wealthy), and an increased defense budget, the budget hawks in the Republican Party must see unprecedented deficits that will dwarf those of the Obama years. Can these co-exist?
These are NOT peripheral differences in policy. How will such differences be resolved? Shadegg probably has as much insight as anyone.