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Mon Jun 10, 2019, 10:08 AM

Republicans whistle past the 'legislative graveyard'


The Senate standstill is frustrating even some in the GOP.

By BURGESS EVERETT and MARIANNE LEVINE 06/10/2019 05:08 AM EDT

The Senate is going to get back to good ol’-fashioned legislating any day now. Republicans swear it.

Mitch McConnell’s Senate has been almost entirely focused on confirming President Donald Trump’s personnel and judges and has little in the way of recent legislative victories.

“It is frustrating,” Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a top Democratic target in 2020, said of the Senate standstill. “But we are still working on a number of really good bills.”

The paltry list of accomplishments has given Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer an opening to portray the GOP as devoid of any agenda and could endanger Republicans at risk in a tough election cycle. And there’s a growing recognition within the GOP that it needs to do more.

McConnell and his deputy, Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), are telling committee chairmen to start approving bills and get them ready for the floor, according to Republican senators. Some lawmakers are optimistic that by August, they will have passed a bill lowering health care costs along with defense policy legislation. Approval of a new North American trade deal this year is also a possibility, as is a bipartisan deal to lift stiff budget caps.

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https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/10/senate-republicans-legislative-agenda-graveyard-1356894

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