The day after Republican Karen Handel won the heated Georgia special election, President Donald Trump offered some advice to Democrats, recommending that they work to cut deals with Republicans on some of his top policy goals and suggesting that such a maneuver would ultimately be to their benefit.
“Democrats would do much better as a party if they got together with Republicans on healthcare, tax cuts, security. Obstruction doesn’t work!” the president wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning.
While Democrats have expressed some interest in working with the president on a package of infrastructure legislation, one of his campaign promises, they have been unwilling thus far to join Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, Trump’s top policy priority. The president seems similarly unlikely to receive Democratic help in passing a tax reform package, another top goal for Trump.
But while the president could certainly benefit from Democratic votes to pass some of his preferred legislation, he does not need them. Republicans are the majority party in both houses of Congress and can pass some legislation, including a repeal-and-replace bill expected to be unveiled Thursday, through the Senate with a simple majority that will not require a single Democratic vote.
Even with their majorities in the House and Senate, Republicans have struggled at times to find consensus even within their own caucus. The House version of legislation to undo Obamacare, the highest-profile piece of legislation to date of Trump’s presidency, failed on its first attempt to garner enough GOP support to pass, unable to strike a balance between the arch-conservative and moderate wings of the party.
A later version of the bill did manage to strike that compromise, but only barely, clearing the House by just two votes.
Handel bested Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff Tuesday night to win in Georgia’s special election.