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House investigations of the Trump administration and the prospect of impeachment are crowding out hopes for legislative progress on Capitol Hill, creating a poisonous atmosphere that makes it all but impossible for the White House and Democrats to work together.
Senators in both parties didn’t expect much legislation to move this year, but they still reacted with dismay to the latest blowup between President Trump and Democrats, saying it jeopardizes efforts to find common ground on even basic issues of governance.
The article goes on to state the following:
Trump surprised Democratic leaders Wednesday when he turned a meeting that was supposed to be about finding ways to pay for a major infrastructure package into a stern three-minute speech on how the House investigations make it impossible to pass legislation.
“It was a monologue by the president, who wheeled around and walked out,” said Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), who described the scene in the room, and said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) didn’t have a chance to say anything in response.
Many congressional Democrats have said this year they can walk and chew gum — meaning conducting oversight while moving agenda items. Trump made it clear Wednesday he’s not on board with that plan.
Legislative activity often slows in the second half of an election year, but it surprised lawmakers that the political posturing has gotten so intense in the off year.
“There are some things to be done that need to be done,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.
Graham added that Democratic investigations in the House have “gone way overboard” but warned his fellow Republicans, “the answer for us is not to give up on governing.”
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