Senate Republicans Have a 'Lot Less Fear' of Trump Now

Stories sound a similar theme about president, senators
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2017 8:09 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump's controversies may be wearing thin on both sides of the aisle in the Senate. Two different outlets on Monday have posts with a similar theme:

  • New York Times: "Senate Republicans, increasingly unnerved by President Trump’s volatility and unpopularity, are starting to show signs of breaking away from him as they try to forge a more traditional Republican agenda and protect their political fortunes." Senate Leader Mitch McConnell may still be a reliable Trump defender, but that appears to be changing among the rank and file, as seen in the public and private criticism of Trump in the aftermath of the James Comey firing. The story includes a quote from Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, who says that among his GOP colleagues, "there is a lot less fear of him than there was just a month ago."

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  • Axios: It notes that Senate Republicans are going their own way on health care and the Russian investigation, and it predicts the same will happen on tax reform. Trump can't get leverage over his own party because Senate Republicans don't need him for the 2018 races, don't particularly like him, and no longer fear him, per the post. "Not long ago, Republicans worried about a Trump tweet fired their way. No more."
  • NBC News and the Washington Post, meanwhile, have stories explaining how the Comey firing is the latest example of a surprise distraction taking away from the GOP agenda in the Senate, particularly on health care. "Anytime you have something else come along when you’re debating legislation, while you’re trying to iron out something, it can—it takes some of the momentum away," GOP Sen. Mike Lee said on Fox News Sunday. But, he added, "We’re going to get it done one way or another."
(Read more President Trump stories.)

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