Donald Trump didn’t just defeat Hillary Clinton in the Presidential campaign.
He also dethroned the Republican establishment.
Now party elites are fighting back and they are working to sabotage two of Trump’s biggest campaign promises.
Trump’s most famous campaign proposal was building a border wall that Mexico would pay for.
He’s continued to make it a priority as President.
Trump issued an executive order that allowed the Department of Homeland Security to begin construction and the administration has begun soliciting bids for the work.
But two keys Republicans are bending over backwards to drive a stake through the heart of this policy.
First, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell threw cold water on the idea Mexico would pay for the wall.
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday threw cold water on President Donald Trump’s insistence that Mexico will pay for his proposed border wall.
“Uh, no,” McConnell said flatly, asked whether he thinks Mexico will foot the bill in an interview with POLITICO Playbook’s Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer.”
McConnell’s remarks were followed by Colorado Senator Cory Gardner – who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee – trashing the idea of a border wall.
“Another Republican senator is throwing cold water on President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.
Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, stated his opposition to a physical wall in fairly explicit terms during a telephone town hall Wednesday night.
“As far as the wall goes, I believe we have to have border security, but I do think billions of dollars on a wall is not the right way to proceed,” Gardner told a constituent, according to audio obtained by POLITICO. “I don’t support a tariff to pay for any kind of wall.”
If constructed, Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is expected, by some estimates, to cost $14 billion, if not much more.
Gardner told reporters last month that he didn’t think the wall was “the best idea,” but he was more emphatic in his comments Wednesday night.
“We do need security on the border,” Gardner said. “That may mean personnel. It may mean a fence. That may mean an electronic fence,” the first-term lawmaker said. “But we shouldn’t just build a wall and add billions of dollars because that’s what somebody said should be done.”
Establishment Republicans are champions of open borders.
They oppose Trump’s wall because they want a flood cheap labor into America and amnesty for illegal aliens.
McConnell and Gardner’s comments represent a complete betrayal of Donald Trump and his voters.
If undermining the idea of border wall wasn’t enough, McConnell also backtracked on a promise to cut taxes in 2017.
Trump’s Treasury Secretary had stated his goal of passing tax cuts by August.
McConnell stated he doubted that could happen.
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday poured cold water on the Trump administration’s goal of completing tax reform by the August recess.
“I think finishing on tax reform will take longer,” McConnell said during a Playbook Live interview…
… Pressed about when he thought lawmakers would be able to complete tax reform, the Senate’s top Republican demurred.
“It is complicated. All of those discussions are already under way,” McConnell said. “How do you craft it?”
Conservatives expect action on the agenda that carried Trump to victory.
But establishment Republicans appear to be paralyzed, by fear of taking votes Democrats will criticize them for, or just outright hostility to Trump’s agenda.
However, voters turned out in November for Trump and his policies.
Without these voters, Republicans stand to fair poorly in the 2018 midterms.
A lack of action on Trump’s agenda could spur Trump voters to stay home and hand Congress to the Democrats.