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Inside Washington

What happens in the halls of national government – for better or for worse – can dictate the future course of America. Along with your fellow Prayer Team members, you are to be constantly and fervently interceding for all the men and women who serve in Congress, for your military leaders in the Pentagon, and for the President of the United States, his cabinet and administration.

“Inside Washington” will equip you to do just that … with reports on the nation’s leaders and the decisions they’re considering … or have already made. We’ll examine the implications for the nation, and call you to specific prayer for those needs.

Republicans and the Will to Govern

Inside Washington

Critics say GOP lacks unity, mindset and political resolve

By Tom McDonald

“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” (Mark 3:24-25)

Republicans, say many within the GOP, have the power but not the will to bring about change in Washington.

With President Donald J. Trump in the White House and the GOP controlling Congress, the expectation among the electorate was for swift and vast changes. The reality has been anything but!

The stagnation within the Republican Party to translate power and authority into a working collation that brings about desired changes boils down to what critics say is an inability to effectively govern. It has long been understood in Washington it is one thing to have the power, it is another thing altogether to use power in such a way that brings about desired change.

“The failure here has not been in our leadership, it’s certainly not been in the president, it’s been in our inability to overcome our own differences and our lack of trust in one another,” said Oklahoma Republican Rep. Tom Cole, of the GOP’s lack of firm footing in garnering change.

As reported by David M. Drucker in the Washington Examiner, Republicans have been “bedeviled by mistrust, infighting, and influential outside sources” when it comes to effecting change—even when it concerns areas that have broad consensus within the GOP, such as repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

Drucker said the lack of consensus in the GOP was evident during the administration of the former president, Barack Obama, but that “Republicans didn’t expect it to continue after Trump took office,” nor after House Speaker Paul Ryan took over the leadership role from John Boehner.

Tom Rooney, a Republican congressman from Florida, said the dysfunction may require “a reckoning between the president and some members of the Republican House to where there needs to be a showdown, and he (President Trump) needs to take a stand.”

Others within the Republican-controlled House have been even more blunt.

“We have got to start governing, and legislating the Trump agenda,” said a Rep. Ann Wagner, of Missouri expressing frustration with some of her congressional peers within the GOP who seem to be obstructing President Trump’s agenda—either willfully or by unintentional means.

Even the talking heads of the Republican Party are voicing concerns over the inability of their party to bring about change.

Mark McKinnon, the former media adviser to President George W. Bush and Arizona Sen. John McCain told Bill Tucker of America Talks Live that the “current crop of Republican lawmakers” have not demonstrated an ability to govern.

“What’s frustrating for me is that at some point Republicans have proven well that they’re good at opposing stuff,” McKinnon said. “That they’re good at being the party out of power. They have yet to prove, in this current crop, that they any ability to govern and to get stuff done.”

McKinnon cited the GOP’s Republican-only effort to repeal and replace the ACA as a prime example. The refusal to include Democrats in the effort fuels a sense of alienation within the opposing party, which may impede other efforts that have appeal in both parties, such as infrastructure repairs, he says.

“We’re not going to have them on anything,” McKinnon said of the Democrats after their exclusion on the healthcare legislation efforts.

While the House was able to pass the American Health Care Act, the Republican health care plan has yet to be acted upon in the Senate. And it is expected that changes will be initiated within the upper chamber that will require further action by the House before a final version of the bill replacing the ACA can be presented to President Trump.

Many believe the ability or inability of the Senate and House to legislate a workable replacement for the ACA will ultimately tell the tale of whether the GOP can and will effectively govern.

This week:

Tom McDonald is a journalist, speaker and thespian. He and his wife, Jill, live in Mesa, AZ.

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