Donald Trump has a Congress problem. He can’t get Republicans to promote his policies. And when he forces the issue — as with his border wall — he can’t win their support.
But most Americans don’t know that. After all, Republican legislators voted with the president well over 90 percent of the time during the 115th Congress. Record numbers of appellate judges were confirmed, and the president signed major tax legislation. Many observers have concluded that Mr. Trump dominates the Republican Party, and his loyal base holds congressional Republicans tautly in line.
But discerning legislative influence is more difficult than it appears. Throughout the first two years of the Trump presidency, Republican leaders in Congress skillfully used a variety of tactics to minimize the president’s influence and maximize their own control over public policy.
Critically, congressional Republicans have adopted strategies that make the public — and more important, his conservative base — think Mr. Trump is in command. To casual followers of political news, the visible evidence from congressional votes and news releases suggests a powerful president leading a loyal congressional party. In reality, Republican legislators have hidden their influence, purposefully disguising a weak president with little clout on Capitol Hill while also preserving party unity.
In his 1960 book, “Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents,” the political scientist Richard Neustadt argued that presidential power is “the power to persuade.” Strong presidents have significant influence over public policy because they wield informal power, developing a reputation for getting their way and punishing those who impede their progress. Weak presidents — like Mr. Trump — fail to persuade, allowing competing political actors in Washington to block their goals and assert their own influence.
Mr. Neustadt identified a second resource that aids in presidential persuasion: public prestige. Political actors in Washington may not fear the president, but they may think twice about standing in his way if they perceive the public response to doing so may hurt them.
On this dimension, Mr. Trump appears to be stronger. His overall approval rating is very poor, but he is extremely popular among Republican voters. And his sizable conservative base is ready and willing to turn on elected Republicans in primary elections should they displease the president. The infrastructure of conservative media — Fox News, talk radio — strongly supports (and influences) Mr. Trump, augmenting this public power. Mr. Trump may not have much ability to sway Democrats, but Republican officials credibly fear crossing him.
Nevertheless, congressional Republicans have found a solution to this challenge: agenda-setting. Political power is not simply the ability to influence the positions citizens or lawmakers take on issues, but also the ability to control what issues are discussed and voted on.
Throughout the last Congress, Republican leaders simply declined to take up legislation that reflected the priority of the president but not their own. There were no votes on immigration restrictions or funding for a border wall, protectionist trade legislation or infrastructure.
The Trump budget proposals for the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years requested deep cuts in nondefense discretionary spending. Congressional Republicans quietly buried them and delivered bills both years that increased nondefense spending.
Such “negative” agenda-setting leaves little trace; without a vote, it becomes difficult for opponents or voters to identify or understand what happened. President Trump’s priorities weren’t voted down in the House or the Senate; they were just never considered.
Agenda-setting also provides congressional leaders “positive” power to set legislative priorities. Mr. Trump has famously shown little interest in the details of policy, and Republican leaders in Washington easily convinced him to accept as his priorities the party’s orthodox issues of Affordable Care Act repeal and tax cuts during his first year in office.
By setting the agenda and having the president sign on, Republican legislators controlled policy while sharing the position of the president. When Republicans held a White House celebration after passing tax legislation, Mr. Trump claimed credit, and legislators publicly praised the “Trump” tax bill, and the president himself.
This trade-off, in which orthodox Republicans get policy control and Mr. Trump gets the glory, is also apparent in the nominations of judges and executive branch officials. The president was quite successful in having judicial nominees confirmed. But virtually all of his confirmed judges have been standard conservatives; likewise, his successful executive branch appointments much more reflect Republican priorities than his own.
By privately influencing Mr. Trump to nominate people who reflect Republican priorities, congressional leaders not only win substantively, but the president gets to show off a perfect record of confirmations on the Senate floor, and a high rate of Republican support for his nominees.
Despite this, Mr. Trump has had an unusually large number of nominees rejected by the Senate, many of whom were put forth without previous input from congressional leaders. But this, too, has been done less visibly, with candidates withdrawing or being defeated in committee rather than being rejected in actual votes on the Senate floor.
The logic of agenda-setting also explains the reticence of congressional Republicans to conduct meaningful oversight of Mr. Trump or his administration. Full-scale legitimate investigations require visible agenda-setting. They cannot be accomplished by omission or in private.
Negative and positive agenda-setting served the Republican policy agenda well during the first two years of the Trump administration. In December, however, in backing out of a Republican-constructed Senate deal that would have kept the government open, the president forcefully asserted his own legislative agenda-setting.
Given the power of the veto as a presidential tool of negative agenda-setting, exasperated Republican senators had little choice but to allow Mr. Trump to take control of the border wall negotiations.
Congressional leaders, however, continued to use subtle agenda-setting tactics. The majority leader, Mitch McConnell, became largely absent from the public debate, declining to take part in post-negotiation news conferences at the White House and flatly declaring he would not bring legislation to the Senate floor until the president and Democratic leaders had reached a deal that could pass — and Republicans would not have to visibly cross the president in difficult public votes.
These tactics yielded impressive results. While a majority of Americans blamed Mr. Trump for the partial government shutdown, very few blamed congressional Republicans. The G.O.P. leaders have managed to not get the blame for the shutdown or get blamed by the base for abandoning the president.
Now that Democrats control the House, Republican leaders may find it more difficult to limit the president’s legislative role. Mr. Trump will be less likely to accept a mostly theatric role in interparty negotiations and, as shown in the shutdown, may be more interested than congressional Republicans in public confrontation.
This bodes poorly for legislative prospects in the new Congress. In our current partisan environment, the visible engagement of the president in the legislative process tends to polarize debate on even seemingly nonpartisan issues. Republican leaders know they’ve lost much of their policymaking capacity. They may soon realize they also can no longer mask the weakness of Mr. Trump.
Matthew Glassman (@MattGlassman312) is a senior fellow at the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown.
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三中三六个号复式多少钱包【一】【切】【的】【结】【束】，【都】【是】【新】【的】【开】【始】。 【这】【本】【书】【的】【成】【绩】【很】【不】【好】，【但】【身】【为】【作】【者】【的】【我】，【还】【会】【继】【续】【努】【力】【的】。 【梦】【想】【还】【是】【要】【有】【的】，【万】【一】【实】【现】【了】。 【在】【这】【个】【过】【程】【中】，【如】【果】【给】【哪】【个】【书】【友】，【带】【来】【了】【不】【好】【的】【感】【官】，【作】【者】【在】【这】【里】【道】【歉】，【说】【真】【的】【我】【不】【想】【的】，【我】【真】【的】【不】【想】【的】。 【我】【希】【望】【自】【己】【可】【以】【写】【出】【一】【部】【让】【人】【喜】【欢】【的】【作】【品】，【一】【直】【都】【希】【望】。 【我】【在】
【忘】【云】【仙】【君】【当】【初】【对】【她】【所】【说】【的】【话】【一】【直】【都】【让】【她】【觉】【得】【十】【分】【奇】【怪】，【好】【像】【早】【就】【已】【经】【知】【道】【了】【她】【是】【从】【何】【处】【而】【来】【一】【般】。 【只】【不】【过】，【她】【深】【问】【的】【时】【候】，【忘】【云】【仙】【君】【便】【给】【了】【一】【些】【深】【奥】【的】【话】，【让】【她】【根】【本】【无】【从】【判】【断】【究】【竟】【是】【真】【是】【假】。 【她】【隐】【约】【间】【有】【一】【种】【预】【感】，【或】【许】【她】【无】【法】【告】【知】【诸】【位】【师】【兄】【师】【姐】【自】【己】【所】【要】【去】【的】【地】【方】，【但】【是】【面】【对】【忘】【云】【仙】【君】，【这】【一】【点】【反】【倒】【是】【无】【需】【隐】三中三六个号复式多少钱包“【长】【公】【主】，【如】【今】【局】【势】【危】【机】，【鞑】【子】【继】【续】【烧】【下】【去】，【早】【晚】【能】【破】【开】【城】【门】，【辽】【城】【内】，【加】【上】【新】【兵】【也】【不】【过】【八】【万】，【根】【本】【无】【法】【抵】【挡】【鞑】【子】【二】【十】【万】【精】【兵】。”【邢】【军】【开】【口】。 “【本】【宫】【带】【了】【五】【万】【麒】【麟】【卫】，【马】【上】【就】【能】【抵】【达】【辽】【城】，【不】【用】【惊】【慌】。”【长】【公】【主】【安】【抚】。 【刘】【尚】【听】【闻】【长】【公】【主】【已】【经】【莅】【临】，【立】【刻】【前】【来】【参】【拜】。 “【末】【将】【参】【见】【长】【公】【主】。” “【免】【礼】，【起】【身】
11 【月】 9 【日】，【吉】【林】【省】【白】【城】【市】【通】【榆】【县】【消】【防】【救】【援】【大】【队】【收】【到】【了】【一】【份】【特】【殊】【的】【礼】【物】，【一】【位】【不】【愿】【意】【透】【露】【姓】【名】【的】【女】【士】【为】【消】【防】【员】【订】【制】【了】【一】【款】 " 【火】【焰】【蓝】 " 【主】【题】【蛋】【糕】，【并】【委】【托】【店】【家】【送】【到】【了】【消】【防】【队】。【收】【到】【群】【众】【送】【来】【的】 " 【火】【焰】【蓝】 " 【主】【题】【蛋】【糕】，【消】【防】【员】【们】【可】【谓】【是】 " 【吃】【在】【嘴】【里】【甜】【在】【心】【里】 "。
【怎】【么】【上】【新】【闻】【推】【送】【了】？ 【按】【理】【说】，【像】【这】【样】【的】【案】【子】，【是】【绝】【对】【不】【会】【让】【报】【道】【出】【来】【的】。 【然】【而】【现】【在】【却】【是】，【直】【接】【报】【道】【出】【来】，【并】【且】【上】【了】【新】【闻】【推】【送】。 【很】【恐】【怖】。 【难】【不】【成】，【官】【方】【不】【想】【再】【藏】【着】【掖】【着】【了】？ 【想】【直】【接】【揭】【露】【觉】【醒】【者】【世】【界】【的】【冰】【山】【一】【角】【么】？ 【官】【方】【是】【真】【的】【想】【的】，【丁】【洁】【不】【知】【道】，【但】【有】【一】【点】【能】【够】【肯】【定】，【过】【早】【的】【揭】【露】【觉】【醒】【者】【世】【界】【的】