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The President, The Freedom Caucus And The Democrats

This article is more than 6 years old.

President Trump takes on the Freedom Caucus. Will he work with Democrats instead? Should Democrats work with him?

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a key member and founder of the conservative Freedom Caucus, arrives for a TV interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a key member and founder of the conservative Freedom Caucus, arrives for a TV interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Donald Trump was golfing again this weekend, trying to find some friends to help him get some legislation through. He’s promised a lot. But health care change stumbled in his own party. And the biggies straight ahead – a tax overhaul, a budget deal, infrastructure – are all in trouble without some more votes on his side. Who will those be? Freedom Caucus conservatives? Democrats willing to talk? This hour On Point, who on Capitol Hill will work with Donald Trump? — Tom Ashbrook


Francine Kiefer, Congressional correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. (@kieferf)

Will Marshall, president and founder of the Progressive Policy Institute. Co-founder of the “New Democrat” movement. (@Will_PPI)

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), U.S. Congressman from New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District. (@replancenj7)

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), U.S. Congressman from Arizona’s 7th Congressional District. (@RepRubenGallego)

Highlights From Our Conversations With Both Congressmen

"I hope we work on other important issues like tax reform, and hopefully an infrastructure bill. I would like to work in a bipartisan capacity...I would urge my Democratic colleagues to come to the table, because the American people cry out for bipartisan cooperation. " — Rep. Leoanard Lance (R-NJ)

"We're working with a very irrational, erratic President...he is difficult to trust, it is difficult for us as Democrats to believe anything coming out of his mouth. We don't know where his money is, we don't know where his money is coming the base minimum, we need to have a resetting of the norms...this president has accountability to nobody." — Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ)

From Tom’s Reading List

Christian Science Monitor: As House GOP tries to revive health-care reform, Democrats emboldened to stop it -- "The White House emitted a few bipartisan signals from the press secretary about working on health-care reform. Rep. Peter King (R) of New York urged President Trump to broker a political peace with fellow New Yorker Senate minority leader Charles Schumer. And the minority leader, as well as other Democrats, expressed a willingness to work across party lines to improve the law – if the GOP stopped trying to repeal and undermine it."

New York Times: Why Democrats Should Work With Trump — "Unlike depriving millions of Americans of health insurance, revamping America’s outdated tax code and modernizing our run-down infrastructure are progressive causes Democrats should be for. And unlike Republicans, whose ideological rigidity and strident partisanship often border on nihilism, Democrats still hew to the quaint notion that the people elected them to solve problems, not prevent them from being solved. McConnellism is not in the party’s DNA."

POLITICO: Democrats in Trump territory in no mood to deal — "Trump’s polarizing agenda and early stumbles have stiffened the resolve of moderate Democrats once spooked by his success in their districts. Though most say they’re willing to work with Trump if he’s sincere about seeking common ground, they’re also not rushing to his side. And his recent overtures toward bipartisanship, they say, are falling flat.

This program aired on April 3, 2017.


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